I used to do paranormal investigations and go ghost hunting every weekend. Then, it became my wife Laura and I. She was interested in the paranormal. We did pretty much the same: gas, mileage, money, driving on the highway and back roads in the wee morning hours, and weekends with little sleep and a catatonic stare for two days afterward. It became a cycle of life, and a continuing learning experience that transcended and embellished the normal work week. Yet, as we discovered, there are other venues to also learn about and become involved in. Ones with a sense of urgency!
During my brief sojourn as a Marion County Sheriff candidate I developed a mindset on the importance of public safety, and all that involved. It’s often not pretty or sanitized, yet a necessity. This lingered in the back of my mind for years afterward. Then came the opportunity for CERT and I jumped on it… also dragging my wife Laura into it. She is an equal opportunity wife!
CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), based through the Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security, is a program training volunteers preparation in response to emergency situations in the communities and neighborhoods we live in. We are the support to first responders (police, medical, fire), able and trained to assist victims at a disaster site. In the event of a major event (tornado, for example) it might be some time before first responders would arrive. CERT secures the scene until they do. There are also other opportunities throughout the year for community events with CERT making a presence.
The Indianapolis PSCA ( Public Safety Citizen’s Academy), 5th class, was an obvious caveat to the next step in our journey. Over 12 weeks, Laura and I rubbed shoulders with IFD (Indianapolis Fire Dept.), IMPD (Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Dept.), the Public Safety Communications Center (911), Indiana Task Force One, IEMS (Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services) and even IACS (Indianapolis Animal Care Services). We met and intermingled with the folks involved within our city’s public safety, discovering in the process—it’s a big, sometimes, dark world out there in our city needing people in control. They are! And, we all have a role to play if we choose to do so. As with CERT, there are opportunities to continue further if you chose.
My wife and I continue to ghost hunt, but also have added other things to our tool kit. It all comes down to helping others in their time of need.
Marion County CERT is available at DHS@indy.gov or call (317) 327-3900 for more info. If interested in the next class of PSCA contact Dane Nutty at firstname.lastname@example.org.