Upcoming responder training designed to help train for disasters

Becky Campbell • May 9, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Local residents have another chance to become trained as community emergency responders through a course offered by the Washington County/Johnson City Emergency Management Agency.

“The idea is to train as many people as possible so when a disaster strikes they can assist their neighbors in their community until we get there,” said Assistant EMA Director Chad Bruckman.

A class last year certified 19 local residents in CERT qualifications. Bruckman said those people will return at the end of the upcoming training class to participate in a simulated emergency exercise.

After the class finished last year, those residents formed the Limestone Fire Corps, Bruckman said.

“It’s part of the citizens corps program, which consists of fire corps and CERT,” he said.

The corps operates independently to raise operational funds on its own, he said.

“We’re trying to get as many people trained as possible. They can join the initial fire corps group to help there or if they wanted to form their own group, their own ERT team, we’ll be happy to assist them in how to do that,” Bruckman said.

CERT class topics include personal and family preparedness, earthquake and disaster preparedness, team organization, basic first aid, damage assessment, fire suppression and light search and rescue.

Bruckman said there is room for 25 participants, but 10 slots are already filled.

The class schedule is June 1, 6-10 p.m.; June 2, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.; June 15, 6-10 p.m. and June 16, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Classes will be held at the Limestone Volunteer Fire Department.

For more information about CERT, visit www.citizencorps.gov/cert/ or call Bruckman at 434-6082 for information and to register for the training.

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