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Help your neighbor should disaster strike

Posted at 11:53 PM, Apr 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-13 07:52:12-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -- Most people would not want to spend a sunny afternoon in a classroom, but several dozen Richmonders took the CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team) course at the Richmond Ambulance Authority headquarters Saturday.

Severe weather and tragedy many times can come with little warning.

The course is designed to prepare ordinary citizens in proper emergency response techniques and disaster preparedness.  Participants are trained in fire safety, search and rescue, team origination, and disaster medical operations, organizers said.

"Ninety-five percent of the time when an incident occurs, it's the basic citizen that's going to be there before the first responders," said Anthony McLean, Coordinator of Emergency Management for the city of Richmond.

"I believe we need to do this know, before it's too late," said Casey O'Neil, who took the course to help take care of elders in her neighborhood should a disaster strike.

"There is a need for communities to come together and have a plan," said O'Neil.

There are two more opportunities to take the course this month: April 19 and April 26.  Click here for more details on how to sign up.