Lexington Emergency Management recruiting new members

Source: Lexington Emergency Management

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington Emergency Management says it is recruiting new members for its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Officials say training begins on March 4 and after nine weeks, new members will join a select cadre of trained emergency responders.  They say so far, more than 400 people have graduated from the CERT classes.

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“The purpose of CERT is to provide training to individuals, members of neighborhood associations and other groups 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 can 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.”

Officials say the nine free training classes are three hours long and teach 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 say the classes are taught on Wednesday nights from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Lexington Fire Training Academy on Old Frankfort Pike.

Depending on class content, officials say 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 sbendall@lexingtonky.gov for registration forms and materials.

A more detailed description about the CERT program is available on the government web site at: http://bereadylexington.com/cert/.