Richmond County EMA ‘C.E.R.T.’ training skills prove valuable during 2014 ice storm

A crash course in disaster preparedness is educating citizens on ways to respond when catastrophe strikes.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A crash course in disaster preparedness is educating citizens on ways to respond when catastrophe strikes.

A crash course in disaster preparedness is educating citizens on ways to respond when catastrophe strikes.
A crash course in disaster preparedness is educating citizens on ways to respond when catastrophe strikes.

For the first time since 2012, Augusta-Richmond County Emergency Management Agency has condensed their 7-week Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) Basic Training into three days.

Following the aftermath of September 11, 2011, Citizens Corps launched a program to educate and prepare the community through critical and hands-on training.

When the unexpected happens supplies are limited and help is spread thin. Do you have the skills to survive a disaster?

Richmond County’s C.E.R.T. program is designed to prepare individuals for anything.

“We teach them things like how to put out a fire,” said R.C.E.M.A. Disaster Preparedness Coordinator Mie Lucas. “We teach them medical triage so they know how to deal with cuts and scrapes and bandaging.”

More than 300 people have been trained since the program relaunched in 2012 and their new skills proved themselves valuable during the largest emergency of the last decade.

“Ice storm 2014. They were reporting to us when they had trees down or power lines down and helping us give that big picture situational awareness to the state government. So that we could get help in as soon as possible,” Lucas told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

In a team exercise people worked together to build a tower. Which was a simulation of real conditions during emergencies. When volunteers have to work with strangers, using whatever they have on hand to help. Each group developed a plan, but some tactics prove stronger than others.

While most of the class was made up of people who work alongside First Responders, Shelly-Ann Grigg is just a Richmond County citizen that feels it’s her responsibility to know how to save someone’s life.

“It’s my job as a citizen. As a human being to be prepared in case something happens,” Grigg said.

C.E.R.T. Training is completely free and all students are provided an emergency kit and certification at the end of the class. The next course will be held August 16th through the 18th.

To register, email swbennett@augustaga.gov with your name, address, phone number, and email address.

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