Put your hand up and help

By Cobram Courier

One of Victoria’s most highly-trained volunteer groups is looking for new recruits.

Nathalia’s Community Emergency Response Team acts as first responder to any calls an ambulance would normally respond to.

Ambulance Victoria Numurkah branch acting senior team manager Craig Beamish said the initial care CERT provided was essential.

‘‘They provide life-saving care until an ambulance arrives,’’ Mr Beamish said.

Volunteers work in pairs, with the team of 12 working on average two to three 12-hour on-call shifts a week.

CERT members help to reduce the response time to emergencies in Nathalia, when the nearest ambulances are in Numurkah.

‘‘The work of CERT is pivotal in health outcomes, because of that ability to get on the scene quickly,’’ Mr Beamish said.

Nathalia CERT team leader Paul Slattery said people were often relieved to see a familiar face in times of emergency.

‘‘A sense of relief is the way I would put it,’’ Mr Slattery said.

As well as providing critical first aid, CERT responders also collect vital information which they can pass on to paramedics.

●If you are interested in becoming a first responder in Nathalia, e-mail [email protected]