I’m signing up to get the (free!) Community Emergency Response Team training here in Franklin County next month. While I have in the past received some extensive first aid training, primarily in Boy Scouts, I haven’t been recertified in CPR in 8 years, and it’s been much longer than that since I’ve had any real first aid training.

CERT is a part of FEMA’s “Citizen Corps” program, and besides the first aid training, they provide training in fire safety, SAR, terrorism/WMD response, and on how to organize spontaneous volunteers in the aftermath of a disaster.

It’s the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and with this past Saturday’s tornado scare in Franklin County (and the fact that a F2 came thru about a half-mile from my house last fall and leveled a good chunk of a nearby neighborhood), I decided there is no better time than now to refresh my emergency response training, and become a volunteer. This is a good opportunity for apolitical community service, and at the very least will make you more prepared in the event of a disaster.

If you live in Franklin County, I encourage you to join me at the training sessions. If you don’t live in Franklin County, don’t fear – there are 76 CERT programs across the state. Contact your local program and sign up.

This is one of those programs our taxes help pay for, that a market would be unlikely to provide. A better prepared citizenry is always a good thing.

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