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CERT graduates latest class

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Barrow County recently graduated these Community Emergency Response Team members after eight weeks of training.

Special Photo
Barrow County recently graduated these Community Emergency Response Team members after eight weeks of training.

WINDER -- Eight weeks of disaster training. Check.

Mock train derailment. Check.

A new wave of trained citizen responders for Barrow County. Check

Barrow County's Community Emergency Response Team -- or CERT -- welcomed a new set of graduates last month following eight weeks of training. The final requirement to complete the class, as always, was a team drill.

"The latest drill was a mock train derailment near the Train Depot in Winder," said Connie Keener, spokesperson for the team. "These latest graduates did a good job during the drill and were able to put to use a lot of what they learned."

Barrow CERT is an all-volunteer group whose purpose is to assist families, communities and Barrow County's first responders in the event of a real disaster.

The graduates will now undergo continuous monthly training to keep them as "disaster ready" as possible, said Barrow County Emergency Services spokesman Lt. Scott Dakin.

The team also stays active by participating in county and community events, such as Public Safety Day, Town Festivals, Health Care Days, Veteran's Appreciation Day, The Christmas Parade Toy Drive and, this year, the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Exhibit.

Barrow CERT members recently scored applause from high-ranking emergency officials for their actions during heavy storms that battered Georgia and Alabama.

"With the storms we have had across the United States this year, we need to be well prepared," Deputy Fire Chief John Skinner said in May.

When severe storms or other disasters wallop Barrow County, members of the CERT team are trained to assist public safety personnel in several different ways, said Keener.

Anyone interested in joining the Barrow CERT organization should contact officials online at www.barrowcountycert.com or at 770-868-0548.