Church members form CERT team

Published 8:10 pm Monday, June 15, 2009

Seventeen members of the Church of God’s Word each completed 20 hours of training to become Chilton County’s fourth Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) team.

Chilton County Emergency Management Agency director Bill Collum said CERT teams are useful to a county, not just in times of disaster but also in cases where volunteers are needed to provide a helping hand to those in need.

“I was really impressed by these guys,” Collum said. “They are real dedicated folks who worked real hard and just had a desire to help people. From the first night I met them they were hungry to learn. I’ve never taught a group who were more excited about helping others.”

Last year, the church heard about the need for volunteers to help search for a missing person in another county. Several members traveled there and participated in the search; however, some members were disappointed with the coordination of the operation. When they returned to their home church, they discussed how they could get involved in operations like this in their own county. Pastor Ray Edwards then contacted a member who in turn contacted Collum and requested the CERT class.

“Often we think that we have to be paramedics, nurses or EMTs in order to help, which is not the case,” Collum said. “We need people who have the desire to work. There are plenty of jobs that need that kind of worker. These are people whose names may never be mentioned or their picture may never be on the front page of the paper, but people who are nonetheless heroes in times of emergencies.”

Those who completed the course are: Willie Beasley, Ashley Carroll, Johnny Carroll, David W. Edwards, Linda Edwards, Mary Jo Edwards, Pastor Ray Edwards, Thomas Edwards, Lisa Fuller, Shannon Headley, James D. Langston, Jimmy Langston, Shirley Langston, David Mims, Michael Varden, Ruby Varden, Marie Williams.

The Church of God’s Word is located on Chilton County Road 7.

Other CERT classes were taught recently at Jemison Fire Department, the Chilton County Board of Education and Jemison Elementary School.