Residents learn to help in disasters

by MARIANNE THOMASSON

alt

“Who here is ready for an F-5 tornado?” John Reidelbach asked the Newnan Kiwanis Club Tuesday at its weekly luncheon at the Newnan Country Club. Reidelbach chairs the Newnan-Coweta Community Emergency Response Team — CERT — which teaches members how to help themselves and their neighbors in case of an emergency.


Following a disaster, 911 goes crazy,” said John Reidelbach, chairman of the Newnan-Coweta Community Emergency Response Team — CERT.

Reidelback addressed the Newnan Kiwanis Club at its weekly luncheon Tuesday at Newnan Country Club.

“Who here is ready for an F-5 tornado?” he asked. “After a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services.

“Factors such as the number of victims, communication failures and road blockages will prevent people from getting emergency services they have come to expect at a moment’s notice through 911,” he continued. “Everyone will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their life-saving and life-sustaining needs.”

With CERT training, volunteers take classes so they know what they’re doing. During Katrina, there were plenty of volunteers and many of them died while trying to help.

“We’re trying to train people by neighborhoods,” Reidelbach said. “We have eight in Lake Redwine alone.”

CERT volunteers aren’t limited to weather-related disasters. “We have trains that go through here with bad stuff every day,” he said.

The CERT training program is 25 hours long, seven sessions from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Volunteers are trained in using different fire extinguishers for small fires, medical first aid, triage, tagging victims for first responders and removing victims to a medical arena. They are provided with a backpack full of the necessary tools for their work — even including a wrench for cutting off gas at a home.

“You’ll be trained to help at a car wreck if you arrive before a first responder. If someone loses everything like they did in Oklahoma, you’ll know where to direct him to appropriate help centers,” he said.

In addition to CERT, a sister organization, “Coweta Cares,” provides emergency lodging, clothing and food when necessary, such as when a home burns. The Red Cross provided these services before the local chapter was closed and was consolidated with others in LaGrange. Since the move, Red Cross services sometimes have been lacking, and Coweta Cares fills the gaps.

The next class is scheduled for this fall. Interested people may go to NewnanCowetaCert.org for more information.




More Local

Edgerton reads, sings, engages at local gathering

Clyde Edgerton read aloud, sang, laughed and clearly enjoyed being the second novelist to be part of the Anne Quinn Powell Authors’ Se ... Read More


Grantville mayor pro-tem

Gomez makes Georgia history

When Grantville Councilman Leonard Gomez was elected to serve as mayor pro-tem, he quietly made Georgia history. The appointment is a signif ... Read More


NTH 150th anniversary

Home of early publisher still stands

James A. Welch did not found The Newnan Herald, but he became part of the newspaper’s history before it was a year old. John S. Bigby ... Read More


Newnan Council

Ground floor apartments could be allowed

Ground level residences could be allowed in downtown Newnan, as the city council will discuss the option at its meeting on Tuesday. Newnan&r ... Read More


Newnan’s sole soup kitchen needs help

Perpetual Praise Community Resource Center in Newnan has plenty of food to continue feeding hot meals through its soup kitchen, called Savan ... Read More

Powell found characters from Edgerton’s ‘Egypt’

Anne Powell called her sister, Jane Quinn, and told her she had to read “Walking Across Egypt.” The 1987 novel by Clyde Edgerto ... Read More