Seven members of Westmoreland County Social Services are getting Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certified through Lancaster County. They plan to put Westmoreland first in any disaster but will also help Lancaster when in need. The group will be available to assist first responders in cases of emergencies.
Hellen Wilkins-Ball of the Westmoreland County Social Services introduced 3 members of the CERT team to Westmoreland Board of Supervisors, “As of Saturday I have these three and two others myself and my husband who are now fully certified CERT.”
Sheila Golden, Angela Tate and Gail Tinsley modestly stood to be recognized for their completion of training which they volunteered their time to complete. Deborah Dillon and Brenda Squires have also completed CERT training.
Wilkins-Ball said, “We work before the first responders get there. We found the training to be very valuable personally. It will certainly help us with sheltering. One example they gave is; ‘What would you do if you came upon an accident? What would you know how to do?’ So we learned a lot.”
The group signed up with Lancaster who provided them with hard hats and back packs. The group will continue ongoing training, meeting quarterly in Lancaster for more training.
Wilkins-Ball said, “I don’t want you to think they were stepping on anybody’s toes. I got the invitation because I am a medical reserve core volunteer for the health department. Our services is to provide disaster or emergency related services.”
Board of Supervisors Chairman Darryl Fisher commented, “Having had the experience locally with the two storms, you find that no matter what you have you can always stand to have more. In no way are you stepping on anyone’s toes.”
However, Fisher and all the Supervisors took time to commend the job that Colonial Beach staff, first responders, community groups and citizens performed to clean up and aid those in need after the April 21 storm.