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Long Co. establishes volunteer disaster-preparedness team
web 0731 Long Co. CERT
Long County recently established a Community Emergency Response Team. The members will break down into two teams to cover the north and south parts of the county. - photo by Mikee Riddle

For more photos of the community emergency response team, go to

The Long County Emergency Management Agency recently established a community emergency response team comprised of volunteers from the area.

According to Long County EMA Deputy Director Richard Truman, 21 people graduated from the 24-hour training course. The graduates now will establish two teams to cover the county.

“What we are wanting to do is have a team for the northern part of the county and a team for the southern part of the county,” Truman said.

He said the teams take action during times of disaster and provide services such as light search and rescue and disaster medical operations. 

“These guys were trained at CPR, first aid, fire extinguishers, how to use an AED, working during a search and rescue and also on NIMS (National Incident Management System) 100, 200, and we even had them take the 700 class that wasn’t required,” he said.

Truman said the group obtained funding through a grant, which went toward instruction materials, CERT bags, T-shirts and a trauma bag.

Truman, the program coordinator, said paramedic Bob Hefley taught the first aid portion of the class and firefighter Randy Combs taught the fire section.

Linda Smith, one of the course graduates, said she joined the team to give back to the community.

“I had a family emergency and I saw the firefighters and EMTs go into action,” she said. “They were right there ready to help us, so I wanted to do something to give back to the community. I was very impressed with the training and also the professionalism of the people involved.”

Margie DeLoach, who also went through the training, said the group would have to apply for more grants to fund team operations. She said fundraisers will be scheduled as well.

“We’re going to be doing some fundraisers in the future, and this team is here for the community, so everyone in the community needs to remember this and be generous in helping,” she said.

Truman said there are plans to have another training class. He said 20 more people want to join the two teams.

For more information about joining or helping the Long County Community Emergency Response Team, call 545-2244.

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