CRESTVIEW The North Okaloosa/Crestview Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, will offer basic training starting Oct. 12. Residents can learn about the organization along with disaster preparedness, fire safety and rescue operations.


CRESTVIEW The North Okaloosa/Crestview Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, will offer basic training starting Oct. 12. Residents can learn about the organization along with disaster preparedness, fire safety and rescue operations.



Attendees will learn about what to do in emergencies, organizers said. Firefighters and EMS personnel will spread the 20-hour course over the last three Saturdays in October at First Presbyterian Church of Crestview. The final exercise and graduation ceremony is Sunday, Oct. 27.



Visit the Okaloosa CERT website for an application form.



Visit FEMA's training materials website for a printable lesson plan.



Participants must be at least 16 years old and pass a background check; 16- and 17-year-olds must have written consent from a parent or guardian.  



Thirteen of 15 attendees passed a training course in August, Team Chief Mark Brown said, adding that class sizes are limited to 15 students to ensure quality instruction.



Graduates will receive certificates from FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security along with a CERT member kit, which contains basic emergency response items.



"In a nutshell, after a person completes the basic CERT course, they have the option of taking what they have learned and returning to their community, or becoming a(n) active participant in our growing network of team members," Brown said.



WANT TO GO?



WHAT: Community Emergency Response Team basic training course



WHEN:8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 12, 19 and 26. Final training exercise and graduation ceremony is 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27



WHERE: First Presbyterian Church of Crestview, 492 N. Ferdon Blvd. 



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or matthewb@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.