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CERTain volunteers needed in Clayton County

By Kathy Jefcoats

kjefcoats@news-daily.com

JONESBORO — Clayton County Emergency Management Agency is staffed with professionals dedicated to their jobs but trained volunteers provide invaluable assistance.

Eight volunteers with the county’s Community Emergency Response Team recently participated in a “firefighter rehab” class as part of their team response training. Clayton County fire Chief Jeff Hood, who is also EMA director, was pleased with the enthusiasm of the participants.

“I was very pleased with each one of them,” he said. “I am confident that if these individuals were called upon to actually assist in rehab, they would thrive and quite possibly put even some of the fire line veterans to shame.” 

The class was taught by Sgt. Ryan Morrison and Beth Durmire of the EMA.

“Classroom participation was outstanding,” said Morrison. “CERT volunteers had many questions and comments that were very helpful to us.”

The training gave volunteers the ability to understand the physiological threats to firefighters and how to look for signs and symptoms of these various threats, said Hood. Each member was taught how to find a rehab spot at a fire or any other scene that would require one.

Scenarios were given in which every student was able to determine the appropriate rehab area by determining what hazards to look for and what equipment would be necessary. CERT volunteers also participated in last week’s “active school shooter” police and fire training at Jonesboro’s Suder Elementary School.

CERT program trains people to be prepared for emergencies in their community and neighborhood, said Hood.

“The program trains neighbors to help neighbors prepare for, respond to and recover from an emergency in their backyard,” he said. “The role of a CERT volunteer is self-help/neighbor-help until such time as trained first-response personnel arrive.”

To learn more about CERT, access www.readyclayton.com or call 770-478-8271.