MECCA, Calif. -

In case of a real-life emergency or disaster, like an earthquake in the desert Cal Fire wants you to be prepared. The Community Emergency Response Team also known as "CERT" is about people helping people.

The department will host a free three-day training in Spanish this weekend at the Mecca Family and Farm Workers Service Center to train every day people to be emergency first responders.

Volunteers focus on earthquake preparedness and get hands-on practice putting out fires, providing basic medical aid, and learning rescue techniques to save people in collapsed buildings.

"When a true disaster happens, the people affected are going to be first responders. So if we as community members know how to take care of ourselves because we're in the impact zone, that's going to be huge," said CERT instructor Zuzzette Bricker.

Bricker said the county holds 20 classes a year, and this weekend's training is the only one for Spanish speakers.
     
"It doesn't come that often. The English population has numerous opportunities. The Hispanic population, we don't get enough signups. So we really need to push," said Bricker. "It's a good opportunity and it's an important opportunity."
 
Bricker said learning the skills to take control of an emergency situation could potentially save someone's life or yours.

"Once they learn a few things we teach them, a lot of them get an eye opener, I can do this. I can put out a small fire, control bleeding before someone bleeds out, there's so much. Being able to take care of themselves is huge."

Participants must attend all 20 hours of training to receive a certificate of completion and a free CERT kit.

The free CERT training will start Friday and run through Sunday at the Mecca Family and Farm Workers Service Center at 91275 66th Ave in Mecca.

Friday, Feb. 28,  5:30 - 9:30 pm
Saturday, March 1, 8 am - 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 2, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

To register, visit rivcocert.org or call 951-955-4700.