By Wendy Holdren
Kevin Taylor, director of emergency services for the City of Beckley, is urging residents to complete a four-class training program to prepare for local emergencies.
The Beckley Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a ready group of organized and trained volunteers that operate at the local level.
Once trained, Taylor said the team will be able to provide many services to their community, such as increasing a neighborhood’s disaster readiness, assessing damage after a disaster, extinguishing small fires and teaching fire safety, performing light search and rescue operations, performing triage and providing medical services to the injured.
“Following a disaster, first responders will be inundated with calls for assistance and unable to meet all the demands for their services,” Taylor said. “Therefore, it is imperative that teams be organized in a way that offers basic assistance to victims until professional services arrive.”
In addition to emergency response, CERT members will also be involved in non-emergency events as well.
The next CERT training classes will be May 16, 17, 23 and 24 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Beckley Fire Department Station No. 3 at 1102 N. Eisenhower Drive.
All four classes must be completed to satisfy the training requirements.
Additional information about the CERT program can be found at www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams.
Applications must be obtained from Kevin Taylor prior to the start of the classes. He can be reached by phone at 304-256-0034, by fax at 304-256-1808, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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