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Volunteers needed to lend a hand during emergencies

Staff Report • May 11, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Tennessee isn’t known as the “Volunteer State” for nothing. This state has a proud history of answering the call for help when needed.

Tennessee earned its nickname when Gov. Willie Blount sent out a call for volunteers during the War of 1812. Thousands of Tennesseans signed up, and many of them later served under the command of Gen. Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans.

In the years since, volunteers in Tennessee have distinguished themselves in all aspects of life, including community service. Local residents now have another opportunity to answer a call for help. The Washington County/Johnson City Emergency Management Agency is offering a course to train community emergency responders.

“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,” assistant EMA director Chad Bruckman told Press staff writer Becky Campbell earlier this week.

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.

Although the class has room for 25 participants, 10 of those slots already are filled.

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

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

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