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Community Emergency Response Team announces training schedule

newspaperThe Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle County Office of Emergency Management is offering free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) emergency preparedness training beginning in January.

The Level 1 Orientation for the CERT program will be held on three evenings: Thursday, January 21st; Tuesday, February 16th; and Tuesday, March 8th from 6 to 9 pm. The Level 1 training orients citizens on regional hazards, personal preparedness, and elements of fire safety and medical operations.

The Level 2 course is a 7-week course, held from 6:30pm to 9:00pm each Tuesday from March 15th to April 26th. One Level 1 class must be completed before participating in the Level 2 course. The second level of the CERT training educates residents on team organization, light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, fire safety, and much more. Upon graduating the Level 2 portion of the CERT training, citizens will become active CERT volunteers for the Charlottesville-Albemarle region.

CERT is a national program designed to prepare citizens to respond to immediate needs following a major disaster. In the event of an emergency, first responders who provide fire and medical services may not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors such as number of victims, communications failures, and road blockages can prevent people from having access to the emergency services they have come to expect at a moment’s notice through 9-1-1. People may have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life-saving and life sustaining needs.

Citizens can register for the spring CERT course by emailing certcville@gmail.com or calling 434-971-1263. For more information, visit www.charlottesvilleCERT.org.