WINDER -- For six years, Barrow County Emergency Services has helped raise disaster readiness via its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course, and those efforts show no signs of slowing.
Current CERT members were out in force at the "Barrow County Public Safety Day" event to bolster recruitment for the next class.
The department will again be offering a CERT course beginning Aug. 16. Classes will be held every Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. through Oct. 4 at Barrow County Emergency Services (222 Pleasant Hill Church Road N.E. in Winder).
Applications are still being accepted, leaders said. The course is free.
The objective of the course, by and large, is to heighten emergency preparedness. Participants can expect training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.
The idea is that those who take the course can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when 911 professional responders are not immediately available, said Barrow County Emergency Services spokesman Lt. Scott Dakin.
Those that choose to joinCERT after taking the initial classes will continue to train monthly, keeping members as "Disaster Ready" as possible, Dakin said.
The team also stays active by participating in many county and community events, such as Public Safety Day, Town Festivals, Health Care Days, Veteran's Appreciation Day, Precinct Parking and the Christmas Holiday Connection and Toy Drive, he said.
The course is open to all Barrow County residents age 18 and older.
To sign up for the course, or for more information, call coordinator Penny Clack at 770-307-2987 or email Clack@barrowga.org.