Cobb County’s Community Emergency Response Team is here to help.
In March, these trained volunteers have stepped up to lead and organize three separate searches for missing persons. Previously, members have assisted in police training events, performed disaster damage assessments and supplemented staffing for the county’s Emergency Operation Center to keep it ready for crises.
Though the county runs free training classes on an almost monthly basis, the Cobb Emergency Management Agency would like to see more participants join its efforts. Staff is hoping to see similar programs run by all of Cobb’s cities as well as more participation by churches and large employers.
“This training is needed more and more because civilians are typically the initial responders at incidents and are on the scene at the time,” CEMA Public Programs Coordinator Bernard King said. “This was the case in Boston, Paris and Las Vegas.”
Training includes disaster preparedness, first aid, evaluating wounded patients, fire suppression, team organization and conducting searches.
While each class is designed for up to 30 attendees only about 15 to 20 are typically enrolling, leaving plenty of room for those interested, King said. Cobb CERT just graduated a class of volunteers in March and another is planned in May.
In February, CERT had classes for deaf participants held entirely in sign language. A total of 16 graduated. In a related effort, Boy Scout Harrison Sullivan from Kennesaw put together more than 100 “3-day” survival packs for the deaf community as his Eagle Scout project.
Applications are now being accepted for next month’s course, which will be May 12, 19 and 26. Fill out an application on the CERT web site located at cobbcounty.org.
Once completed, this online application will be submitted to the Cobb County EMA for processing. You will need to send a legible copy of your driver’s license via e-mail to email@example.com to complete the application process. Please call (770) 499-4568 if you need assistance.