Columbia County officials premiered a Community Emergency Response Training video on Dec. 13 that could become the national CERT training video.
At the volunteer appreciation dinner, Pam Tucker, the county's Emergency Services Division director, said the video was produced locally using county CERT members and might replace a grainy, boring, poorly produced video that has been used for years.
The video, which depicts CERT members responding to a tornado, was funded by $7,500 of grant funds from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the federal Department of Homeland Security.
"I'm getting positive comments," Tucker said. "In fact, I had one from the state (Georgia Emergency Management Agency) that said they were going to use it not only in the CERT classes, but to train the trainers, the people who are instructing the CERT classes. We are so proud."
The video from the emergency response exercise in July also was shown.
Also at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion gathering, volunteers for the county's many emergency response teams were in the spotlight.
"We're talking about people who have full-time jobs and families and other responsibilities," Tucker said. "But those are the people you have to recognize. They are just always there when you need them."
For the fourth consecutive year, Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue Lt. Todd Caron, who tied with Wendall Freeman, was named Volunteer of the Year of the county's Dive, Rescue and Recovery Team.
"He is a super individual," Tucker said as she handed Caron the award. "All of them are and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. But you always have some that are just a little bit outstanding and he is one of those."
Also honored were volunteers of the CERT training video, the CERT exercise, the CERT team deployment to Mississippi and the Mobile Operations Center team.
Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said at the meeting that the spirit of volunteerism in Columbia County is amazing.
"This is the kind of spirit that makes Columbia County a truly special place," Cross told the room full of volunteers. "(The spirit) of people willing to take their time and considerable effort, and it is considerable effort, to do what you do.''
2005 VOLUNTEER AWARDS
Todd Caron - Volunteer of the Year (fourth consecutive year)
Wendall Freeman - Volunteer of the Year
Robert Gibbs - Leadership Award (second consecutive year)
Dive Team Chief Mike Chambers - Special Recognition and Appreciation
Mobile Operations Center
Bob Clipperly - Volunteer Service Award
Penny Carpenter - Volunteer Service Award (CERT exercise victim)
Charlie Brown - Volunteer Service Award (CERT exercise responder)
CERT Deployment to Mississippi
Kathryn Crutchfield - Volunteer Service Award
Joe Matosian - Volunteer Service Award
CERT Training Video
Virginia Berkhimer - Volunteer Service Award
John T.Y. Smith - Volunteer Service Award
Felicia Brown - Volunteer Good Sport Award
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