The Washington County/Johnson City Emergency Management Agency is in the running for a $25,000 grant that would help fund equipment and training for a citizens response group, and local residents can vote on Facebook to help secure the money.
The grant is funded through the 2013 State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant. Washington County is one of 200 finalists chosen out of 3,000 agencies that applied. Anyone with a Facebook account can vote for Washington County to win the contest.
EMA Training and Operations Officer Chad Bruckman applied for the grant to help fund CERT — Citizens Emergency Response Team — training.
“CERT is a crucial component to our Ready Washington County disaster preparedness plan,” Bruckman said. “Emergency responders cannot possibly be everywhere, all the time, in the event of a disaster. We need citizens who are willing to be properly trained to implement procedures in their communities to help keep themselves and their neighbors safe.”
Bruckman said the $25,000 would be used to purchase disaster trailers, equip each CERT member with proper personal protective equipment and recruit and train new CERT members and instructors.
“CERT exemplifies community involvement and making a difference,” said Bruckman. “These volunteers are stepping up, willing to face hazardous situations to safeguard their communities. They deserve to have the proper tools, training and equipment to do that.”
The link to vote is http://bit.ly/YyWc9x and each person can vote up to 10 times a day.
CERT training is free, but participants must attend each of the four training sessions — a total of 25 hours — to become certified.
Training classes are scheduled for April 12 from 6-10 p.m., April 13 from 8:30-5 p.m., April 19 from 6-10 p.m. and April 20 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. All classes will be held at the Johnson City Fire Department training center behind Station 7.
To register, call Bruckman at 434-6082 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The class is free, but the number of spots is limited.