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Atoka resident Hannah Gammon, 16 years old, advocated to bring a program to her school that will show teens how to respond to disasters and emergencies.
Co-chairwoman of the Region VI Youth Preparedness Council (YPC), Gammon has brought the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program to the Atoka Public School. Students can take the CERT class as part of their curriculum.
The Region VI YPC focuses on preparedness for disasters of all kinds. Active shooter events, severe weather, floods and tornadoes.
Students who take the course will learn how to: organize volunteers, assist in evacuations, give assistance to survivors, provide damage assessment information, provide shelter support, and assist with crowd control.
The program will also teach teens how to put out small fires, conduct light search and rescue, assist those who are injured, set up medical treatment areas, assist emergency responders, identify and anticipate hazards, reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace, and help reduce survivor stress.
“I want to get more teens involved with this program (CERT) and learn how to help others in a disaster, a flood, or a tornado… Basically to get kids involved in knowing about CPR, how to do first aid, and just to help others out if they need it. To help the fireman or EMS with something small or to help before the first responders get there.” Gammon commented.
She worked with the administration at the Choctaw Nation, FEMA, and Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS) to start a Teen CERT program within the Choctaw Nation as well.
Nine other teens from across the Choctaw Nation have completed the CERT training in 2019. They have all been able to volunteer at local disasters and put the skills they learned into practice.
Gammon hopes to continue to help her community and continue serving her community by going into the medical field. She plans to attend Murrary State College (MSC) to be a physical therapy assistant (PTA).
Active in the Future Farmers of America (FFA), Gammon is a junior at the Atoka High School and maintains a 3.96 GPA. She is the daughter of Amber and Troy Gammon Jr., and a member of the Harmony Baptist Church.
Gammon began her pursuit to involve area teens as a volunteer for the Choctaw Nation Emergency Management.