On August 12-13, 2013, a two-day training was held at the United Methodist Center in Birmingham to train new Early Response Team (ERT) trainers. Barbara Tripp, consultant for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), led the training. Eleven people completed the course - nine from the North Alabama Conference and two from the Alabama-West Florida Conference.
The participants were (from left to right) Mike Butler, Charlie Brown, Pat Shubird (Alabama-West Florida Conference.), Ken Clements, Amelia Fletcher (Alabama-West Florida Conference.), Bill Prestridge, Sandy Felkins, Todd Own, Bob Arnwine, Lori Feist, Tanya Rains and Barbara Tripp (UMCOR).
Now that they have completed the training class, in order to become fully certified trainers, these eleven individuals must lead a ERT class with an UMCOR representative present for evaluation.
If your church would like to host an ERT training event, contact the Conference Office of Disaster Response (205-226-7980 or email email@example.com ) with two or three possible dates. Classes can be as small as 6 or 7 people.
Conference Disaster Response Coordinator Rev. Randy Burbank says, "Currently there are only two active trainers in our Conference, Fred Heddens and me. By getting these instructors certified we will be able to significantly increase the number of classes that can be offered in our Districts."
Rev. Burbank also offers the following reminder to potential ERT volunteers. "If you received your ERT badge prior to 2011, your badge has either expired or is about to expire. If you took the course right after the April 27 storms, your badges will expire in 2014. Contact the Conference Office of Disaster Response to schedule a re-certification class. This class takes about 4 hours rather than the usual 7-8 hours."