ROCKWALL COUNTY, TX (Dec. 2, 2014) Members of Rockwall County Emergency Management and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) teamed together to teach the community three important steps when it comes to preparing for an emergency or disaster during a community meeting on emergency preparedness at the St. Matthias Church in Rockwall on Monday night.
While there are skilled and caring emergency professionals throughout North Texas who are available to the public in the event of a disaster or emergency situation, Rockwall County Emergency Management Coordinator Joe DeLane said the best form of protection is you.
“If you can train and familiarize yourself with the basic procedures of what to do during an emergency or disaster, a lot of it will just become second nature to you,” DeLane said.
DeLane led the meeting and presented those in attendance with the three basic principles of the KnowWhat2Do campaign: Think. Prepare. Act. Developed through the collaboration of North Central Texas regional governments, KnowWhat2Do reaches millions of people across North Texas in order to teach them ways to safeguard against natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornados, terrorist attacks and other types of emergency circumstances.
Guests of the meeting also heard from Mike Rambo, the program manager for East Texas Regional CERT. EastTex Regional CERT offers training in a variety of areas related to emergency preparedness and community safety, and serves the counties of Fate, Collin, Rockwall, Hunt and Kaufman. With 62 active members trained to in a number of emergency preparedness-related issues, including the personal safety of families during a disaster, the program also houses a grasslands fire support team that aids fire departments in those counties, and a search and rescue team for missing persons cases and child abductions.
“We’re actively recruiting new members,” Rambo said. “We have a great medical program training taught by local EMTs in Rockwall County, and we have nurses and doctors on our membership team. When we respond, we come out with a full medical team, a full search and rescue team, and we’re all bagged and tagged with bags to carry our survival and medical equipment and ID badges to get into the areas we need.”
CERT training courses are coming up in January for Kaufman County, with one in Rockwall soon to follow. The course is 16 hours and runs on two consecutive Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Membership is open to all age 18 and up, and members can choose from a variety of different jobs including ham radio operations, search and rescue, fire, and working at the Emergency Operations Center.
According to DeLane, volunteers are always welcome to those who wish to take part in helping to keep not only their own community safe but all of North Texas in the event of a disaster or emergency.
“There’s room for anybody who wants to volunteer to help us,” DeLane said.
To learn more about the KnowWhat2Do campaign and specifics regarding its three steps to safeguard against emergency situations, visit the website at knowwhat2do.com.
Story and photo by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News staff writer and reporter.
To share your good news and events, email editor@BlueRibbonNews.com.
Please click here to LIKE our Facebook page, so we can reach more people with good news like this!