Berrien County Emergency Management offers free disaster training

BERRIEN SPRINGS — The Berrien County Office of Emergency Management will host a free Community Emergency Response Team Training, delivered in partnership with the Berrien County Firefighters Training Council.

There will be seven sessions available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Oct. 16 to Nov. 6, at Oronoko Township Public Safety Building, 4411 E. Snow Road. A graduation ceremony will follow at 6 p.m. Saturday Nov. 10.

The CERT course seeks to benefit any citizen who takes it. The students will gain skills that will aim to better prepare them to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Also, many businesses have started CERT Teams to help with their emergency response during a disaster and become, essentially, emergency responders for that business.

“CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people,” said Capt. Rockey Adams, the coordinator of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department’s Emergency Management Division. “Disasters affect different people in many different ways. As more people learn about how disasters may affect them and how to cope with them, the community as a whole will become more resilient to disasters. Recent disasters have highlighted why it is important for the whole community to be better prepared.”

The CERT Program educates people in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. The students will learn about CERT groups and volunteer opportunities available to them during the class.

For more information on the National CERT program, visit: fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams/ also, visit bcsheriff.org

Pre-registration is required. To do so, people can visit bcsheriff.org and click on the Emergency Management Division CERT page.

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