Letter to the Editor

CERT training gets community ready for attacks

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

To the editor:

Discussion about the likelihood of more terrorist attacks and resulting disaster has been prevalent since Sept. 11, 2001. While that possibility exists, earthquakes, damaging weather systems, hazardous material leaks, fires and vehicular accidents are just a few of the events that are equally as damaging and disruptive to our lives. All of these tragedies are seriously considered by a group of special people in our community, the CERT Alliance. The members of this committee are Paul Breitinstein, captain, and Daren Shell, emergency medical technician, of Cape Girardeau Fire Department; Ron MacCubbin, Red Cross; Charlotte Craig, Cape Girardeau County Public Health Department; Jane Sough, Southeast Missouri University; and Jim Watkins, community volunteer.

These concerned professionals have a passion to help their community prevent, prepare and cope for possible disaster by teaching the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program. Through interesting lectures, engaging films and mock disaster drills, a participant is better able to deal with situations than he would have been before the training. I hope our community will never have to manage a huge terrorist attack, but lesser events happen here. The distress can be diminished if people are prepared and trained to act. Being able to help oneself and then others in close proximity lessens the burden for all.

Recently, a group of cadets, senior members and parents from the Trail of Tears Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron completed the course. The challenge is offered to others to do the same.

RITA LaVANCHY

Jackson