If you’re ready to help your community be better prepared for emergencies and disasters, Lexington Emergency Management wants you for a spot in our upcoming Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class #32. Training begins on March 4th and after graduation nine weeks later, you’ll join a select cadre of trained emergency responders. So far, more than 400 people have graduated from the CERT classes.
“The purpose of CERT is to provide training to individuals, members of neighborhood associations and other groups so in case of an emergency or natural disaster, they can provide immediate help to preserve life, property and the environment until professional first responders can arrive,” said Pat Dugger, Director of Lexington’s Division of Emergency Management. “CERT members also become Preparedness Ambassadors, a group of volunteers who assist with community emergency management programs and exercises.”
The nine FREE training classes are three hours long and teach disaster preparedness, fire safety, and suppression, disaster medical operations/first aid, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, radio operations, team organization, terrorism incident and accident response. The last class is an actual disaster exercise. The classes are taught on Wednesday nights from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Lexington Fire Training Academy on Old Frankfort Pike.
CERT classes began in 2004 and since then, the Division of Emergency Management has organized 30 groups and more than 400 people have completed the coursework.
Depending on class content, classes are taught by members of the Lexington Fire Department, University of Kentucky Medical Center doctors or Emergency Management staff. Upon graduation, CERT members receive a backpack filled with preparedness supplies.
Pre-registration for the CERT class is required and class size is limited. Please contact CERT coordinator, Shelley Bendall, at (859) 280-8063 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for registration forms and materials.
A more detailed description about the CERT program is available on the government web site at: http://bereadylexington.com/cert/.
Residents can access information about the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government by calling LexCall, the city’s centralized service and information contact center. Most telephones can connect to LexCall by simply dialing 3-1-1. The regular number for LexCall is (859) 425-2255 and is answered Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Information about city programs and services is also available via the government website at www.lexingtonky.gov. Citizens may also receive news and information from the city’s Twitter account – Lexkygov.
More information about emergency preparedness is available from the Division of Emergency Management website available at: www.BeReadyLexington.com. Information about the division is also available through the Lexington Emergency Management Facebook page – @LexingtonKYEM and the agency Twitter account: @Lexkyem.