My Thoughts

My Thoughts on Christianity and Other Things

Archive for the tag “Serving Others”

CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)

Summer is here. Now what are you going to do? You could volunteer to be a victim to help train police or fire departments. It’s a lot of fun. This is a reprint of an article I wrote for a hearing loss newsletter years ago.

A few years ago, I was a victim of a bad car crash. Some of you may have been car crash victims too. Or maybe you were a victim of thief or fire or what ever. No one likes being a victim, unless… you are one of the volunteer victims for the NW CERT EXPO (Community Emergency Response Team) that was at the Washington State Fire Training Academy like I was on September 22, 2007.

At 7:00 Saturday, I drove in to the east side of North Bend to the fire academy. There were a lot of young people there. Most of them were high school students. I also met Donna from the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center. She brought her friend Angela, both are neat people, and both are deaf.

The staff had scones and muffins on a tray with some fruit in a bowl. I filled out the forms, got my free t-shirt, and then waited in line to be made up so I would look like I had a head wound with blood coming out of my ears. They also painted some nice bruises on my face. I looked like I had a wrestling match with a train and lost. The teenagers of course wanted all the fake bones and glass coming out of their bodies. The grosser, the better. One girl wanted a stick to ‘go through her’. The stick was too big and long, so I took out my picket knife and whittled it down so it could be mounted and still look ‘cool’.

They had us victims divided into groups. Finally our group was called outside where they quickly told us some things and then we started walking down the hill. I didn’t hear what was said; I was just following along like cattle. We finally entered a building and went in a nice clean room with a fire truck inside and fire uniforms hanging up. We were told to hide and act hurt. Two different CERT groups came in to check us out and tie ribbons on us. Green means we’re hurt, but not too bad. Yellow means we’re hurt bad but not life threatening. Red means if we don’t make to the hospital soon, we’re going to the grave.

Lunch wasn’t too bad except because of a miss understanding I lead Donna and Angela to the wrong building for lunch. The staff and CERT people were eating there. The victims were to eat in the building that we first met. By the time we got there with all the teenagers there, we almost didn’t get lunch.

After lunch we were divided up in three groups. First group went to a ‘burning’ building. You could see the concrete building at one time did have a fire in it. Now it is black inside with what looked like a few smoke bombs going off. Another group was in a plane crash and the last group was in a car wreck. Donna and I were in the car crash with two girls in the back seat.

The staff knew that there were going to be one or more hard of hearing or deaf people, but they forget. Much of the time I had to guess at what to do. There was one woman there who although was not a translator did know ASL and often informed Donna and Angela what was happening.

Now I know we must educate people about hearing loss, but there are some things I guess can not be taught. When we were in that mocked car wreck; an ‘aid’ came to check us out. She saw I was ‘unconscious’ and said so. She then went to Donna’s side of the car and realized that Donna was conscious but was also deaf, and she told the others that. So far so good. Then I heard something that I knew I must be mishearing. I heard, “Deaf Lady, if you can hear me squeeze my hand.” Then I heard it again “Deaf Lady, Deaf Lady, if you can hear me squeeze my hand.” I finally said, “She really can’t hear you.”
“Well how do I communicate with her?” she asked.
“You can use a pencil and paper.” I answered.
“But I want to communicate with her.”
“Write her a note!” I said.
I don’t know what to say about this. I have a lot of thoughts though, like maybe a little more training for people with and without disabilities.

It was a fun day and I was very tired by the time I made it home. Maybe I’ll do it again sometime.


First before I start this post I will say that my wife and I have been praying for the victims in the Boston bombings. We also been praying that the police would find and arrest those who were responsible for this. And thank you to those of you who helped the injured.

This link has caption for the Beatles song “Help” for my deaf and hard of hearing friends.

Galatians 6:2
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Why is it so hard to ask for help sometimes? You know there are many people who would like to help.

One day when I was walking out of the bank, I saw a couple with car trouble. I had no problem giving them a jump start. In fact I was happy to do so.

A few years ago the heater went out on our car. The only way to fix it was to replace the heater core which would require disconnecting all the wires and vacuum hoses, then removing the dashboard. Removing all nuts and bolts, and disconnecting all the wires and vacuum hoses can be done by only one person. Lifting the dashboard to remove it however, requires two people. I had no problem going to a neighbor asking for help, and he had no problem with coming over to help me.

Yet when it comes to money, food, housing, or some weird health problems, we often don’t like asking for help. Why? Often times we are embarrass. Or other times we may think ‘it’s our problem and it’s none of their business’. Or we may think no one would understand or maybe no one would believe us. And then some of us may simply think it’s too shameful.

There are also times when someone would need help and there is absolutely nothing anyone could do but, be there for them.

A few weeks ago my wife and I went on a trip to visit my dying Dad. He was dying of cancer and even with pain killers, he was in great pain. Sometimes I just sat next to him. We all did. Sometimes when he was in pain I told him to squeeze my hand.

If you know someone who is sick or recovering from a bad injury, go to them. Visit them even if you do nothing but sit there in the chair next to them and sleep. It will mean a lot to them. And if you need help and someone wants to help you, it might be wise to let them. But sometimes, use caution.

Some of you know I have a hearing loss. For many years I just didn’t let people know. I bluffed a lot when it came to hearing someone. Many of my customers had no clue that I couldn’t hear every word they say. Yet I was able to repair every piece of machinery they brought me. One day however I messed things up a lot. The customer was mad. When he found out I couldn’t hear well, he was mad about that. He said I would avoid lots of problems in life if I would just tell people that I have a hearing problem. Right now many of my hard of hearing friends are saying, “We keep telling you that!” I know. I’m doing better now.

Still if you need help, ask for it. Tell you friends. There are lots of people who would be happy to help you.

If you know of someone who needs help, ask if you can help them. Some of you don’t need to be told this, I know. But for some others, I will say, ‘do it anyway’.

Matthew 25:44-45
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

Thank you to everybody who has helped, and prayed for my wife and I about my parents.

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