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Next Barrow CERT course begins Aug. 16

WINDER -- Barrow County Emergency Services is once again looking for a few good citizens.

The department will again be offering a Community Emergency Response Team (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).

Following the course, students will participate in a class exercise, enabling them to use newly learned skills in a simulated disaster. Instructors will be members of local public safety agencies, said department spokesman Lt. Rob Nowakowski.

"This is an excellent way for citizens to learn how to prepare for and react in the event of a disaster," Emergency Management Coordinator Penny Clack said in a release. "This training can be extremely beneficial to the citizens and their families in the event of an emergency."

The CERT program educates residents about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area, training them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help, Nowakowski said.

The course is open to all Barrow County residents age 18 and older.

To sign up for the course, or for more information, contact coordinator Penny Clack at 770-307-2987 or Clack@barrowga.org.