MANSFIELD – Families and businesses suffered damage because of a tornado that struck earlier this year. Other areas experienced flooding. When we are faced with these and other types of disasters, extra hands and volunteers are needed.
The Richland County Emergency Management Agency turns to their CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) team to be ready and to respond when Richland County is affected. In the past, the team has been activated to assist with tornadoes, floods, ice storms, missing persons and traffic control when Interstate 71 was closed down and roads were closed because of a tornado.
The CERT course prepares individuals to respond as a team to serve the county or to care for their own family or neighbors at the time of a disaster. Information covered includes minor first aid, preparing for a disaster (what individuals should have on hand prior to a disaster - food, water, medicine, flashlights, etc.), how to secure a scene/disaster area, how to turn off the gas, extinguish small fires safely, disaster psychology and how to safely perform a proper and effective search for victims in buildings and homes.
Volunteers receive additional training in traffic control, and search, rescue and recovery. We encourage individuals to take the training even if they are not able or interested in being part of the CERT Team.
The CERT Team provides extra hands and staff to assist the professional emergency responders, i.e. law enforcement, fire and rescue as well as the Richland County Emergency Agency in the field and in the Emergency Operation Center.
The course is approximately 20 hours in length and attendance and full participation are required for an individual to receive certification and be a part of the team. Individuals must be at least 18 years of age and it is preferred that they have a valid Ohio driver's license. The course is free of charge. Refreshments will be provided.
The next course of instruction will be held on Friday, October 11, from 6-10 p.m. and Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The course will be held at the Peoples' Community Center, 597 Park Avenue East, Mansfield.
Pre-registration is required. To register or for questions, call the Richland County Emergency Management Agency at 419-774-5686 or register at Cert.richlandccc.org.