EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - The East Texas Regional Community Emergency Response Team, or “CERT”, is looking for volunteers to register for their upcoming training classes.
They’re looking for people from all over East Texas and especially people in Van Zandt County; for their newest response unit.
“What we do is we help law enforcement, first responders and fire departments after natural disasters,” said Cilla Wichmann, the regional coordinator for the CERT in Van Zandt and Kaufman Counties. “We also help look for missing people.”
The East Texas CERT helped out West Sunday, after a tornado struck the town of Bowie on Friday.
“We go through a lot of training so when they reach out for us, they know we are specialized, and we are trained and we’re ready to do whatever needs to be done,” said Wichmann.
The organization is looking for volunteers to help — after disasters like this strike — in their newest unit in Van Zandt County.
“Last year we joined Van Zandt County, so we need more people to help us out and volunteer in the community and be ready to help out in a disaster or if we have a missing person,” said Wichmann.
The training is two full-day classes, on two consecutive Saturdays; June 13 and 20. It’s free and open to anyone 18 and older.
“You learn basically anything that the community emergency response team does,” said Wichmann. “IT’s first aid, fire depression, search and rescue, all that kind of stuff. What you need is an interest to help your community.”
They’re asking for people of all abilities to consider volunteering.
“You’re really needed regardless of your physical ability,” said Wichmann. "I meet a lot of people saying I can’t do that because I can’t walk. We need you anyway because we need people to help check in, we need people to take phone calls, we need people with medical training and we need people who can translate if you have a different language you can speak. We need you."
Wichmann said the upcoming training will be in a space where participants can be socially distant and take safety precautions against COVID-19.
To learn more or register for the classes, head to their website: https://easttexrc.org/join-easttex-cert/