Some local first responders are using this severe weather season as a chance to get the community involved when it comes to emergency preparedness.
The Washington County, Tennessee Sheriff's Department is offering a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training class.
Sheriff Ed Graybeal said you can always rely on people in our area to step up to the plate when it matters most.
"The community is going to come together. So we want to give them some training to realize what they're doing, to make it safe," said Sheriff Graybeal. "And we couldn't do without the community. When we have a disaster, they're really part of our life, we we want to help them know what to do."
The 40-hour program educates you about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact your area.
It also trains people in basic disaster response skills like fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.
"This helps our first responders that may not be able to get to you as fast as you'd like them to," said Washington Count, Tenn. EMA Director Nes Levotch. "They have to do their everyday jobs, making calls, heart attacks and so forth. So, if you can help your neighbor and help yourselves, it'll help first responders do their jobs a little better."
Classes will be held every Tuesday and Thursday in March from 6-9 PM in the training room at the Washington County Sheriff's Department in Jonesborough.
The deadline to sign up is February 28th.
If you would like to participate, please call (423) 788-1414 between the hours of 8-5 AM.