If you’re ready to help your community be better prepared for emergencies and disasters, Lexington Emergency Management wants you for a spot in our upcoming Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class #34. Training begins on Wednesday, September 9. After graduation, nine weeks later, you’ll join a select cadre of trained emergency responders. So far, more than 400 people have graduated from the CERT classes.
“The purpose of CERT is to train residents so, in case of an emergency or natural disaster, they can provide immediate help to preserve life, property, and the environment until professional first responders arrive,” said Pat Dugger, Director of Lexington’s Division of Emergency Management. “CERT members also become Preparedness Ambassadors, a group of volunteers who assist with community emergency management programs and exercises.”
The nine FREE training classes are three hours long. Instruction includes classes in disaster preparedness, fire safety and suppression, disaster medical operations/first aid, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, radio operations, team organization, terrorism incident, and accident response. The last class is an actual disaster exercise. The classes are on Wednesdays from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Lexington Fire Training Academy on Old Frankfort Pike.
Applicants for the CERT program must be 18 years of age, reside or work in Fayette County and submit to a background check.
CERT classes began in 2004, and since then, the Division of Emergency Management has organized 33 groups. As a result, more than 400 people have completed the coursework.
Depending on class content, classes are taught by members of the Lexington Fire Department, University of Kentucky Medical Center doctors, or Emergency Management staff. Upon graduation, CERT members receive a backpack filled with preparedness supplies.
Pre-registration for the CERT class is required, and class size is limited. Please contact CERT coordinator Shelley Bendall at (859) 280-8063 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for registration forms and materials.