ROY -- Brian Jenkins had just finished his Community Emergency Response Team course when he got a call that a plane had crashed in a neighborhood close to his home.
Jenkins was needed at the elementary school to help, so he was glad he had gotten the training that enabled him to be useful.
After the plane crash, many other city residents expressed interest in becoming CERT-trained. Jenkins believes it's because so many saw the benefit of the training put into action that Sunday evening.
"It was good practice for us," Jenkins said. While no one was injured, those who were trained could offer comfort and keep everyone calm.
"It was a pretty traumatic experience, and disaster psychology is part of the training," he said.
Roy is divided into six sections, each with its own CERT leader. Jenkins is in the north section and considers himself the secretary of the city's team. John Brooks runs CERT for the city.
All those who participate are volunteers. After the plane crash, the group had many more people interested in participating, but also saw a need to try to recruit as many more people as possible. A fundraiser was planned to raise awareness of CERT and to offset costs associated with taking the course and to help create emergency supplies for each section.
The fundraiser will be held Saturday at the Roy High School north gym, 2150 W. 4800 South. The theme is a hoedown with a dinner and dancing. The cost is $15 for dinner and dancing, or $5 for dancing only. Tickets for the dance may be bought at the door, but dinner tickets must be purchased ahead of time so organizers can plan to have enough food.
The north CERT section has a shed stocked with supplies, but that's the only well-prepared section, Jenkins said. The goal is to have that kind of setup for each section. The north section also needs more supplies, he said.
The cost to take the course is $25, which includes a hard hat, gloves, goggles and a book. The book is donated by Ogden Regional Medical Center, but the other materials add up to $25.
Former Councilwoman Marge Becraft approached the council about getting involved with the fundraiser. She has been very involved with the training and sees it as vitally important for the community and a unifier for residents.
The mayor agreed to sign a letter directed at businesses, requesting donations at an auction to be held that night. The city used to be more directly involved with CERT until budget cuts limited help, but there are still many volunteers in the city, said Mayor Joe Ritchie.
Fire Chief Jon Ritchie said he is very proud of the CERT efforts and the preparedness of the CERT leaders. "At the plane crash, they were able to act. The idea of CERT is for them to participate in low frequencies but to have high impacts, and that's what we have in this city," Ritchie said. He also gave kudos to the county for its support of the CERT program.
A new, seven-week CERT class will begin April 6 at the main Roy fire station at 1900 West and 5200 South. Interest is high, but room is still available.
Jenkins said there are still many to be trained in the city. Right now, the city has only 80 completely trained volunteers. Jenkins said a few recently finished training conducted by the county, but there's always room for more.
For more information, to sign up to take the course or to purchase tickets, call Jenkins at 801-731-5516 or John Brooks at 801-779-4364 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org