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A record number of volunteer organizations participated in an annual disaster exercise.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE CITY OF BEAVERTON - Community volunteers played the role of disaster victims during the emergency preparedness exercise. The City of Beaverton, in partnership with Tektronix, held a regional volunteer disaster response exercise on Saturday, Sept. 16.

The exercise took place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tektronix campus to give emergency preparedness volunteers the opportunity to practice real-time response in a simulated disaster situation.

Approximately 160 volunteers from area Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) attended, representing the cities of Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard and Tualatin, and the counties of Clark and Yamhill.

In addition, Listos, which is Washington County's Spanish language disaster volunteer program, participated. Tektronix employees also had a role in the exercise, as well as community volunteers who played the role of disaster victims.

During the exercise, CERT volunteers practiced essential disaster skills such as first-aid, triage, search and rescue and cribbing, which means lifting debris to provide a temporary support during rescues.

A team from the Washington County Medical Reserve Corps established an aid station to treat the victims "rescued" by volunteers. The exercise was designed to practice communication, collaboration and coordination across different volunteer groups that may not regularly work together, but will need to in the aftermath of a disaster.

Saturday's event was the sixth annual CERT regional disaster exercise, which is funded by Department of Homeland Security grant funds.

The first exercise was held in 2012. Since then, the exercise has increased in complexity to continue to challenge volunteers.

By Mandy Feder-Sawyer
Reporter, Beaverton Valley Times
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