Clinton County residents now have an opportunity to become better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their community.

During Monday’s Clinton County Board of Supervisors meeting, Emergency Management Coordinator Chance Kness spoke about upcoming informational meetings for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. Meetings will be held at 2 and 7 p.m. today at the Clinton County Courthouse.

Another informational meeting will be held Aug. 10 at the same times at the courthouse.

Once trained, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims and organize spontaneous volunteers during emergencies.

These trained individuals can also help with non-emergency projects which help improve the safety of a community.

The CERT curriculum focuses on disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, CERT organization, disaster psychology, terrorism and CERT final class disaster simulation.

Once the basic curriculum is completed, students can choose from a wide range of community outreach opportunities and training, such as first-aid training, global positioning system (GPS) assisted search and rescue, animal disaster planning and shelter management. CERT members can also share their knowledge at events like the Clinton and DeWitt National Night Out events.

Individuals 18 or older, or 16 with parents consent, are eligible for CERT after submitting to a background check. Kness said they will give preference to small groups who already know each other. Participants must attend all basic training classes.

However, Kness said the participants decide as a group when and where the training will be held.

For more information, call 242-5712 or send e-mails to

Citizens are also invited to stop in at any of the meeting times.


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