EMA offers CERT certification

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By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

Gadsden/Etowah County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is offering a CERT, or Community Emergency Response Team, class. 

CERT certified individuals are able to help the community in times of emergency and disaster. Many call in and ask where they can help during bad weather and other emergencies. Currently, the members are being organized into area-based groups that will act when there is need. 

The class will take place Sept. 23, 25, 30 and Oct. 2, 7 and 9 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  They will be held at the Gadsden/Etowah County EMA. To become CERT certified, participants must attend all six classes. 

The classes will teach disaster medical training, fire safety training, search and rescue training, team organization, emergency preparedness, basic first aid, psychological coping methods, and how to assist responders. 

“It [the class] is all very hands-on,” said Patrick Huselton, EMA Public Information Officer. “They [the students] actually do the things they are learning.”

Each class meeting will focus on one topic, with the last class being a mock emergency situation for students to test their newly taught emergency response skills. 

The class is being offered for free, but Huselton urges people interested to sign up as soon as possible. Only the first 25 people to sign up will be able to take the class, so that every student gets enough hands-on learning. 

All the teachers will be volunteers. EMA instructors include David Elliot and Denise Cooey. Local sheriffs and fire departments also get involved in the CERT teaching process.

For more information, call 256-549-4575 or visit www.gecema.com/cert.php.

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