Alabama residents graduate from CERT training course

A group of 17 people from Trussville, Alabama, recently graduated from a local Community Emergency Response Team course.

The course prepared the local residents for hazards that could impact their area and trained them in basic disaster response skills. The course topics included team organization, fire safety, disaster medical operations and light search and rescue, reports.

Gene Melton, the mayor of Trussville, presented the graduates with certificates. The students also receive backpacks filled with a search light, gloves, duct tape, a hard hat and other items. Each graduate participated in nine class sessions since January.

Members of the CERT can apply their training to help others in their neighborhood or workplace after an event in which professional responders are not available immediately to help. Members of the team are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by more actively engaging in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

John Griscom, a member of Trussville's public safety committee, said he took the course as a refresher and to learn new information.

"Everybody needs to know how to take care of themselves first and what to do in case of an emergency," Griscom said, according to

John Amari, another graduate of the course, said the class sessions taught him how to help those in need and how to save first responders time by assessing a disaster situation, reports.