Volunteers prepare for events they hope will never occur
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – Taylor’s Community Emergency Response Team swore in three new members Dec. 3, volunteers who train to respond to emergencies, like storm damage and flooding.
Fire Chief Steve Portis said CERT volunteers serve an important role within the city, helping the Police and Fire department, as well as other city departments, and provide first aid at city events.
CERT trainer Blaine Honeycutt said they have recruited six new team members, three of whom were on hand for the swearing in: Vinod Kondoor David, 40; Alexus Martinez, 19; and Austin Nunnery, 21, all of Taylor.
“They are all volunteers,” Honeycutt said. “They do it because they love the city.”
He said volunteers learn how to protect people from downed power lines, what to do in case of a nuclear waste spill, such as at Fermi in Monroe, and how to respond during tornadoes or severe winter storms.
“We don’t live in a disaster-prone area, which is very good to know,” Honeycutt said. “We now have 150 people trained at the CERT level, and it is good to know that if we have a major disaster, the Fire Department would be overwhelmed quickly, so it is good to have some people that can step up and help somebody, save somebody’s life, and do rescues.”
For more information about the Taylor program, go to TaylorCert.org. For more information about CERT programs in general, go to ready.gov.