Students from SVU and area citizens took part in a 20 hour CERT Training Course at the County’s 4-H Extension Office during the week of October 24-27 and finished up with practical exercises on Saturday the 29th providing them a better understanding of Disaster Preparedness.
This BASIC FALL CLASS designed for Community Emergency Response Team members (CERT) had a class of 15 attendees who took time to learn about Disaster Preparedness / Fire Safety and Utility Control Awareness / Disaster Medical Operations /Disaster Psychology/Light Search and Rescue /CERT Organization /Terrorism and CERT
Participants received instruction from Firefighter/EMT-B Gary Smith with the South River Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Management Coordinator Robert Foresman.
The goal of the CERT class is to have community citizens that are trained in the basics of emergency response so that they can assist in their neighborhoods when disaster strikes and first responders are overwhelmed with the events of the disaster. These individuals are there to assist as needed whether it is during a hurricane, snowstorm, a fire, or some man-made event. Having citizens trained to help during times of disasters allows us as a community to build and enhance our capacity to help ourselves said Robert Foresman, Rockbridge County Emergency Manager.
Rockbridge County Resident CERT Volunteer and Disaster Preparedness Educator Peggy Selden supplied the class with supplemental materials and Grab-N-Go Kit ideas and brochures full of educational material. It is hoped that this class will become the second phase of Rockbridge County’s Ambassadors promoting Disaster Preparedness among their family and friends. The first phase of Rockbridge CERT began with a training session in late 2010 with 25 people finishing their class in November of 2010. Formation of Rockbridge CERT officially started in January 2011. The graduates of the fall 2010 class spent time developing the organizational structure for the group, once the structure was in place the group could then move forward with promoting community preparedness. CERT members have been active in Public Events like participating in 2010 Christmas Food Basket / Glasgow’s Emergency Services Day / Glasgow’s Riverfest / Rockbridge Community Festival / Rockbridge Baths Labor Day Celebration/ Vesuvius Community Meeting and most recently SNAP FITNESS Health Fair.
Interested organizers of local groups or clubs wishing to obtain “free’ CERT Training can contact the Office of Emergency Management for time and date of the next class offering.