Bilingual? CERT needs you

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

The Community Education Response Team is a bit like the Marines.

They are looking for a few good men and women to work in the trenches when the going gets tough.

Like the Marines they are picky about whom they accept.

The do background checks.

They want you to speak Spanish as well as English.

The training requires a commitment and 10 Wednesday evenings.

Unlike the Marines, they won't pay you.

The satisfaction of helping your neighbors through what may be the worst period of their lives is all they offer in compensation.

You get to help your neighbors and see them through what may be the worst times of their lives.

Tom Willey, CERT member and trainer, says it's the only place to be when disaster hits.

"I've been involved in CERT since '02," Willey said. The retired minister said he first encountered a CERT-style program in Colombia during the Nevado del Ruiz volcano eruption that killed about 13,000 people in 1984. Willey who was working in Miami for an organization that worked in disaster relief and with refugees, was dispatched to help with the aftermath of the eruption.

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