HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - City officials in Hattiesburg certified more than a dozen local residents to become a part of the Community Emergency Response Team, or C.E.R.T., Thursday night. They were required to attend three classes at the Hattiesburg Police and Fire Training Academy in order to become officially certified.
They were given certificates as well as their emergency bags filled with items such as flashlights, gloves, and a safety helmet.
Volunteer Darrell Lewis says it's vital for everyday citizens like him to step up and help their neighbors in time of need.
"It may be your house and your neighbor...now, what's going to happen," said Lewis. "So, I think it's just that, 'watching your neighbor' thing and that's been pretty good to me," he said.
"They get to learn to know about tornados and hurricane seasons and not be so panicky and nervous when it comes, to be able to help their neighbors," said Linda Montgomery, C.E.R.T. Team coordinator.
The City of Hattiesburg is also looking into starting up a C.E.R.T. program for teenagers.