Free classes offered in disaster readiness

By Linda Looney-Bond


The Clayton County Emergency Management Agency is now taking applications for its next Community Emergency Response Team training session.

The course will take place May 4 through 8, at Clayton County Fire Station No. 13, located at 264 North Main St. in Jonesboro, according to Stacy Pate-Kirkwood, Homeland Security Operations Officer for the agency. The classes are scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m., each day.

The CERT program is designed to help neighborhoods prepare for, and respond to, various disasters, such as flooding, severe weather and other major emergencies, Pate-Kirkwood said.

The training is a program of the Emergency Management Agency, and the county's Fire and Emergency Services Department.

The upcoming course is free and open to Clayton County residents who are 18, and older.

"First and foremost, it teaches you how to be prepared in your own home, but to be prepared in your neighborhood also," said Pate-Kirkwood.

Training will include basic emergency procedures for fire safety, first aid, and light search and rescue.

Pate-Kirkwood said it's important for residents to take the course because "sometimes we're [emergency workers] not able to be there immediately."

Those who participate in the course must attend all five classes. The May course is limited to 25 participants. Three seats have been filled, and the remaining 22 seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, she said.

Those interested in taking the course should call the Emergency Management Agency at (770) 478-8271 to receive an enrollment packet in the mail.

Pate-Kirkwood said online enrollment is not currently available.