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CERT training #045; be prepared

The Boy Scouts may claim the motto "Be Prepared," but it is advice everyone should follow. Whether it is simply a matter of keeping your first aid kit up to date or learning CPR from the American Red Cross, no one is ever hindered by being prepared, and many can benefit from it.

Through grants and special programs, the Covington County Emergency Management Agency is offering the opportunity to be prepared, especially those living in rural towns or areas that aren't quickly or immediately accessible to the usual first responders. This program not only shows an amazing amount of foresight on behalf of the EMA, but an amazing amount of caring as well. The first responders who will assist in teaching these Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes are not simply saying "We want to help you," but "We want to help you be able to help yourselves."

The training can take a week or more, depending on when and how often the classes are held. Between shuttling children to various activities, going to church and work, and the every day chores of every day living, most of us will probably wave off this opportunity, saying "We just don't have time."

Make the time. The few hours you spend that week, learning basic triage, first aid, search and rescue and more, will be more than amply repaid by the hours you won't have to spend waiting in an emergency room or shelter, wondering what is going on and how you could have helped.

The strength of a community lies in the willingness of its members to help each other. What better commitment can we make than a commitment to life - protecting and preserving it in any way we can.