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Ready for the unthinkable

No one ever wants to think about a major disaster at schools, but after Enterprise High School was hit by a tornado that killed eight people, Chilton County school leaders want to be prepared in case the same thing happened here.

Last night, several schools completed their Community Emergency Response Team training with a mock tornado disaster drill at Clanton Intermediate School. The free class was sponsored by the Chilton County Emergency Management Agency (EMA).

CERT instructor David Hicks said he was pleased with those who devoted time to learning these important skills.

“I’m proud of this group who took the time to take the class,” Hicks said. “They didn’t get paid any extra to do this. They all did it on their own time.

Schools involved in the training included LeCroy Career/ Technical School, Chilton County Board of Education, Chilton County High School, Clanton Elementary School, Clanton Intermediate School, Clanton Middle School, Isabella School, Jefferson State Community College, Jemison Elementary School, Jemison Middle School, Jemison High School, Maplesville School, School Maintenance Shop, Thorsby School and both Verbena schools.

Hicks said it is important that there are several from each school who have received the training.

“In the event of an emergency, those personnel can begin responding to the situation. All of the other team members then can assemble and help where they are needed during the emergency,” Hicks said.

Others who assembled to help with the simulation yesterday included the Civil Air Patrol, CERT Team 1, CERT Team 2 and KMA’s CERT Team.