EASTON — The Talbot County Department of Emergency Services is encouraging citizens to sign up for a free Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) course.

The course will be presented as seven 3-hour classes at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays beginning Sept. 9, and concluding with a disaster exercise on Oct. 28. All class sessions will be held at the Talbot County Operations Center, 605 Port St., Easton.

The CERT course is designed to help citizens prepare for and lessen the effects of a disaster in their community.

The 21-hour course includes emergency preparedness, fire safety and suppression, emergency medical treatment, light search and rescue, and disaster psychology. It also includes a final disaster exercise that enables participants to use the skills and knowledge they acquired during the course.

“Residents who volunteer their time for CERT training are a great asset to our community,” said Brian LeCates, Talbot County deputy director of emergency services.

In a widespread emergency such as a winter storm or hurricane, public safety resources are stretched thin. CERT enables residents to care for themselves, their families, and their neighbors until police, fire, and medical responders are able to reach their neighborhoods.

“The skills taught in CERT are the foundation of emergency preparedness for individuals and families,” LeCates said. “A prepared community is a resilient community, and community resilience is our goal.”

Class participants will receive a training manual and a CERT kit that includes personal protective equipment such as a flashlight, first-aid kit, and high-visibility safety gear.

Participants who complete the course will be awarded a certificate acknowledging their accomplishments.

The curriculum is interactive, with a combination of lecture and hands-on activities, and is open to all county residents. There is no charge for the class, but space is limited. To register, call 410-770-8166 or email gharrison@talbgov.org

For more information, contact Geneva Harrison, Emergency Management Coordinator, at 410-770-8166 or gharrison@talbotcountymd.gov. CERT is a Citizen Corps program offered by Homeland Security.

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