The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 14, 2012

Response team completes training

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

— Members of Beckley’s first Community Emergency Response Team completed their basic training Tuesday and will now be utilized in emergency situations when there is a need.

Kevin Taylor, director of Emergency Services for the city of Beckley, said 11 people completed the training and he looks forward to the service they can provide for the community.

“It’s a good start,” Taylor said. “These are committed individuals and they represent all walks of life. We’ve got former firefighters, members of the local health department, local government officials and homemakers.”

He said some of these individuals brought experience to the table, but what others lacked in knowledge, they made up for in dedication.

“This is the start of a potentially large scale effort that will channel the willingness of those citizens who want to volunteer their time. We will give them the tools to make themselves and their communities better prepared for emergency situations.”

After facing two devastating storms, Taylor said emergency responders can be stretched to the limit.

“CERT members can serve functions that our emergency responders cannot. That can be anything from rendering first aid to distributing information to the community.”

During their training, members learned about topics such as disaster preparedness, fire safety, medical operations, rescue operations, team organization and disaster simulation.

Taylor said, “This is only the beginning.” He hopes to establish a CERT in each of the five wards in the city of Beckley.

For more information about upcoming training sessions, contact Kevin Taylor at 304-256-0034 or ktaylor@beckley.org.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com