South Mississippians Get Emergency Training - - The News for South Mississippi

South Mississippians Get Emergency Training

The lessons Tim Curtis is teaching could save a life.

"For instance, if somebody is trapped under an overturned refrigerator or an over turned file cabinet after a hurricane or after a tornado, an individual by himself is not going to be able to life that heavy appliance off of them," DeSoto County Civil Defense Director Tim Curtis said.

Curtis says emergency workers from around South Mississippi will share these techniques with people back home.

"People are basically good hearted, and they want to help," Curtis said. "The problem is if someone runs into a situation without evaluating the safety factors, then they become a victim themselves.

"Statically, over the past 10 to 20 years we've discovered about 95 percent of the people who are rescued post disaster are rescued by friends, family members and co-workers, and what we hope to gain with this program is to teach the lay person, who we would term as an emergent volunteer, how to protect themselves as they do their good deeds."

The CERT program was initiated by FEMA, and the hope is to prevent death or serious injuries following a major disaster in communities all over the nation.

"Normally, our fire services and law enforcement are taxed to the max in a disaster," Bobby Strahan with Pearl River County Civil Defense said. "This will give us extra manpower out there. These people will be trained as to what to do in case of a disaster, therefore helping us with our manpower situation."

Strahan says he'll use the knowledge gained during this workshop to start a CERT program.

The two-day workshop is being sponsored by the Hancock County Civil Defense Office. After completing the course participants, will be certified to teach citizens what to do following a disaster.

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