Disaster training volunteers sought

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A CERT volunteer leads a "victim" to safety during a December training exercise simulating the aftermath of a tornado. Training for new volunteers will be held in March.

By ALEX MCRAE
alex@newnan.com
Helping hands are welcome in any community and Coweta residents willing and eager to assist their neighbors with disaster preparation, relief and response are encouraged to sign up for CERT, the Coweta Community Emergency Response Team.
CERT training educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
A series of eight CERT classes necessary to achieve certification begin this month. Those wishing to apply for the training must do so by Friday, March 8.
Those wishing to enroll should email newnancowetacert@gmail.com or leave a message at 770-683-HELP (4357). All applications must be submitted no later than March 8. Go to http://newnancowetacert.org for information about CERT.
The spring CERT training course will be held at the Newnan-Coweta Public Safety Training Facility located at 473 Greison Trail in Newnan. The course will be held March 18, 21, 25, 28 and April 8, 11, 15 and 18. Classes begin each night at 6:30 and will end promptly at 9 p.m. with the course overview and drill held on Saturday, April 20.

Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. All needed supplies are furnished by the CERT organization.

“We do this for a reason,” said Sheila Davis, area coordinator of Newnan-Coweta CERT. “This is really about saving lives.”

CERT volunteers are capable of aiding professional public safety workers by taking care of things like cutting trees to provide access to disaster areas, turning off residential gas service in danger zones and providing medical triage and basic first aid until professional help arrives.

When CERT teams are able to assist, firefighters, law enforcement personnel and emergency medical workers can concentrate on places where their specialized skills and equipment are most valuable.



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