The new Barrow County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Class BC-23 started Feb. 24th.

Barrow County Emergency Services (BCES) Chief Alan Shuman, EMA director Penny Clack, CERT Chief Dave Mueller and other officers were on hand to greet and open the first class session.

The class currently has 19 registered students, according to a news release.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) CERT Program trains volunteers to prepare for the types of disasters that their community may face, through hands-on practice and realistic exercises.

The CERT program was designed as a grassroots initiative and "specifically structured so that the local and state program managers have the flexibility to form their programs in the way that best suits their communities," the release said.

CERT volunteers are trained to respond safely, responsibly and effectively to emergency situations, but they can also support their communities during non-emergency events as well, leaders say.

There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide, with more than 600,000 individuals trained since CERT became a national program, according to the release.

Citizen’s wanting to sign up for the class or needing more information about the CERT program in Barrow County can contact Clack at pclack@barrowga.org or phone 770-307-2987.

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