Parker County’s Community Liaison for Emergency Preparedness and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) leader Kit Marshall is making an impact with people of all ages when it comes to getting people involved in helping others.
Her duties include many functions such as being responsible for the public health aspect of Parker County’s Emergency Preparedness, grant writing for the county, recruiting and training of volunteers, community outreach and much more.
She finds teaching life safety and preparedness skills to our county’s adults and youth a very rewarding aspect of her job.
As a Certified Master CERT Instructor, Marshall has taught approximately 700 Parker County students and over 1,000 county residents during her 10 years with Parker County along with training others state-wide to be instructors.
"It excites me knowing that we are giving students, of all ages, life safety tools for their tool kit that could last them a lifetime," she said. "This training can benefit them wherever they are, giving them the ability to even save lives when faced with an emergency or crisis."
The classes are leading to results as well, with students in her classes competing and placing at regional CERT competitions within the larger Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) nationwide competitions.
"The results are evident in various ways," she said. "The kids have competitions where they get to go against other schools across the state. Our teams have done very well. You also see the results when you have a former student seek you out to tell you that what they learned in CERT helped them find a job, or helped them excel at boot camp or even helped save their home when an oven fire was kept from spreading out of control due to a student knowing to go and shut off the breaker box and to not open the oven door."
This year her Aledo Team placed second and Weatherford placed third at regionals, allowing them to advance to state. Last year’s Weatherford Teams took first, second and third at regional's advancing to state. Only three teams advance from each region to state.
Weatherford High School junior Alex Field, who recently placed 5th with her team at the regional CERT HOSA competition said it has become one of her favorite classes.
"I want to be a trauma physician so this course sounded like something I would enjoy," she said. "I love this class. Mrs. Marshall is a very good teacher. She is qualified at what she does and she is very intelligent. I also enjoy her class because she is funny. She knows what she is talking about and she makes it fun."
Marshall is quick to praise her team of volunteers including Parker County CERT member David Reeves, a certified instructor in CERT, who is one of Kit’s four additional CERT instructors.
"I feel truly blessed to have David and all of my CERT instructors and volunteers," Marshall said. "It really makes me proud of my community. To work with our volunteers and to be able to spread that knowledge is something that energizes me to work harder and to do more."
While it is hard work, she said it is worth it.
"Effective response requires comprehensive planning and coordination," she said. "Whether I am teaching our trainers, our residents or our children, one of the things that is important is teaching them the practical applications to what they are learning so that they can use that new found knowledge at home, work and play. I love it when students have that "aha" moment where you can see that they have learned what we have taught them. You can see that they have the skills necessary to not only help or save themselves but others as well. It truly is the payoff to all the hard work."
PARKER COUNTY SPRING CERT CLASSES ARE SET
They will be on the following dates:
▪ Saturday April 30: 9-4
▪ Monday May 2: 6:30-9:30 p.m.
▪ Saturday May 7: 9-4
▪ Monday May 9: 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Contact Kit Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.