Berkeley Co. free course prepares community for disasters and emergencies

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 3:50 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2022 at 9:08 PM EDT
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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - CERT, Community Emergency Response Team, offers a seven-week training program to learn lifesaving skills that can be used in emergency situations.

The course covers topics including disaster preparedness, fire safety and suppression, survival skills and basic disaster medical operations. The goal of the course is to prepare the average citizen with the knowledge to assist first responders in emergency situations.

Darrell Moser, Berkeley County CERT Instructor, used the skills from the program to help a man while having an epileptic seizure.

“I was able to determine that the scene was safe and be able to move him off of the vehicle,” Moser said. “We got him out of it, stabilized him and it took almost 20 minutes for the paramedics to show up. Then we transferred to them with a lot smoother process because we knew what they were looking for right off the bat.”

The CERT program began in Berkeley County back in 2013 but paused during the pandemic. Moser said the course is especially important now for the public to prepare for anything to happen.

“When disaster happens, you’re going to check on your family first, then you’re going to check on your neighbors, and then you’re going to check on your community,” Moser said. “And that’s the way we roll as a CERT member.”

Tammie Pierce, Berkeley County Emergency Department Operations Coordinator, said the program is promoting to do the best for the greatest amount of people.

“The information or the training that we provide will be used not in a situation if it’s needed, it’s going to be when it’s needed,” Pierce said.

The Goose Creek Rural Fire Department works with CERT to properly train individuals on the correct ways to deal with different types of fires. Chief Robert Maibach said by members of the community learning these disaster skills, it could make their jobs easier.

Multiple instructors with different backgrounds work together to provide accurate and relevant information to people taking to the course.

“I would encourage anyone that can give a couple of hours a week for six or seven weeks to take the training,” CERT Instructor Robert Priest said. “It benefits them, benefits their family and benefits the community.”

CERT training begins on Sept. 13 for seven weeks, every Tuesday, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hanahan Fire Department Station #3. To register, email or

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