Members of the Cobb Community Emergency Response Team are moving forward this year with new training classes, new equipment and a new leadership structure.
The organization is made up of more than 1,300 trained civilian volunteers who are willing to aid public safety personnel during a crisis.
Sam Peng of Acworth, a construction manager who became program leader in February, said they hope to increase public awareness about CERT and seek more ways to aid official efforts.
“We’re finding ways to partner with them, to help them do the things they do,” he said.
The CERT membership has been divided into five sections across the county, with section chiefs issued two-way radios to maintain contact with Cobb Emergency Management Agency officials when they’re needed.
“They will be able to give updates on places public safety officers have not been,” Peng said. “We can report damage. We can request support to different areas. They can direct us as to where they want our folks to go.”
Cobb EMA Public Programs Coordinator Rozlynn Hamilton said they expect to hold more classes for CERT members this year – including those to sustain existing skills.
“They’re motivated,” she said of the volunteers. “They’re empowered.”
Classes provided to the members have included everything from damage assessment to how to conduct medical operations. Future classes will include storm spotter and search and rescue training.
Those interested in Cobb CERT can call 770-499-4567 or go to CERT Volunteer Position Descriptions and complete the CERT initial training form.