CERT awards

Pictured, from left to right, are Mike Toney, Dave Mueller, Vance Oakes, Fern Oakes, John Sliman, Chief Alan Shuman and Battalion Chief Rob Nowakowski. 

The Barrow County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) annual awards dinner was held on Wednesday, Jan. 15, to recognize the team members for all their dedicated hours of work.

CERT members put in a total of 1,661 volunteer hours last year and five members put in over 100 hours each, according to a news release.

“Congratulations to Fern Oakes, the CERT volunteer of the year 2019,” said CERT Battalion Chief Dave Muller. “She is very deserving of this recognition for her dedication and passion for all the work CERT does and it shows in all the events she works.”

Also in attendance with the CERT team was Barrow County Emergency Services Chief Alan Shuman and Battalion Chief Rob Nowakowski.

The CERT program starts by teaching citizens how to prepare and respond to possible disasters that may affect Barrow County. Students are taught in areas such as disaster preparedness, search and rescue, medical operations and many other subjects. It teaches students how to first take care of themselves and their families then help their neighbors in case of a disaster.

"After graduating, students can join the CERT team in Barrow County,” said John Sliman, public information officer for the CERT team. “CERT volunteers work special events and occasionally work with our local public safety agencies in responding to incidents.”

The next CERT FEMA training class BC- 23 will start Monday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. and run for eight weeks until April 13. The classes will be held each Monday night at Barrow County Emergency Services Station 6, 222 Pleasant Hill Church Rd. NE, Winder.

To sign up for the class or need more information about the CERT program in Barrow County, contact Penny Clack, at pclack@barrowga.org or phone 770-307-2987.

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