An Evans neighborhood became transformed Saturday into a disaster area, all in front of a camera.
Columbia County Community Emergency Response Team volunteers Jimmy Murray (left) and Dennis Jones (right) help Roy DeAsis during an exercise. The mock emergency was being videotaped Saturday for use in training
Photo by Quandra Collins
The performance, as real as it seemed, was just a mock emergency - one that will be repeated again Aug. 27 in the same neighborhood for a training video.
Pam Tucker, the county's emergency services director, said the current video shown to Community Emergency Response Team volunteers, used to expose them to the type of training they will receive, needs improvement.
"The training video that we use to train volunteers is several years old, and the quality isn't that good," she said.
"It's one of the first things that we show them, and it nearly puts them to sleep."
The goal is to change that with a new video.
On Aug. 13, as part of the video taping, Walnut Hill subdivision was changed into a mock disaster zone, staged to show the destruction after a tornado.
About six victims, most of them covered in blood, moaned in agony and screamed for help as they lay helpless on the ground.
Tucker said the video will be used to train other CERT members throughout the country as well.
She said the Office of Homeland Security and Georgia Emergency Management Agency approved a grant to fund the project.
The video, enhanced with action-packed footage, will be 13 minutes long, Tucker said, and will feature 12 CERT volunteers.
Additional footage also will be filmed Aug. 27 at locations throughout the county, such as the Evans Diner and the Martinez-Columbia Fire and Rescue training facility.
Since the CERT program was begun in January 2004, Tucker said, 135 Columbia County residents have been certified to be emergency responders.
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