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Hyrum hopes to teach residents to be emergency responders

October 20th, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Heidi Hansen

HYRUM—Funding for new Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) training to begin next year was unanimously approved by the Hyrum City Council. Hopes to eventually train 90 citizens in emergency response tasks and utilize them on the safety committee were discussed.

“We’re looking to train average moms and dads that are here that can help out. In an emergency we need people at ground level in Hyrum because we’ll be here on our own for a while,” Blake Christensen, Hyrum city’s safety officer, said.

Christensen was there to request funding and explain the details of the CERT program. He said it will resemble many CERT programs already in place around Cache Valley.

While law officials and EMTs are all CERT trained, Christensen said it is now important to train the regular citizens who won’t be busy in command positions in the case of an emergency.

The training will start with 30 people and teach them the basic skills to perform CPR, put out fires and help with search and rescue, said Christensen, adding that nothing they’re asked to do will put them in jeopardy.

Christensen also said that after meeting with Homeland Security he feels there is a lot more they can do with the help of the state in the area of emergency preparedness and would like to set up an emergency management budget of about $ 6,000 for the coming year.

Councilman Paul C. James said  he “is in the process of retooling the safety committee” and would like to utilize those that become CERT trained on his committee.

There was some disagreement over how this would work. Councilman Tom LaBau responded that “committees don’t do a terrific job” in deciding things.

In other business, City Administrator Brent D. Jensen presented a budget report for the first quarter of the 2009-10 fiscal year reporting that sales tax revenues were down to $ 180,000, and said they usually expect around $ 212,000 at this time of year.

Jensen said that the city’s second largest contributor to sales tax revenues has seen a 70 percent decrease in revenue this quarter. He said 94 percent of the budget for buildings had already been used up, commenting that this is the category they have to adjust every year. He said in this case it was due to the unexpected collapse of the city building’s HVAC system that cost $20,000 to replace.

Jensen said 54 percent of the budget for roads had already been used as well, but didn’t see this as a problem because most road projects are done in the summer.

A road project done for Hyrum over the summer was discussed by Jensen, who said it had been done well but was not very timely, which made him question, “why do we even put deadlines in the contract if everybody just ignores it?” Jensen then said that more needed to be done to enforce penalties for not following contract deadlines to cut costs in this area.

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  1. One Response to “Hyrum hopes to teach residents to be emergency responders”

  2. By Ted Pease on Oct 23, 2009

    Heidi: A friend from Hyrum emailed me to say how much she appreciates seeing some news from her town.

    This is good–watch passive voice in lead….


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