Community Emergency Response Team

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Since the Columbia County CERT training program began in 2004, we have trained 26 Groups totaling 555 citizens to become certified in how to take care of themselves, their families, and help their neighbors in the event of an emergency or disaster.   

If you are interested in helping your community by participating in future classes, please complete the CERT Team Volunteer Training Application and return it to our office to sign up.  Please note the pre-requisites listed in the application package.  
Please contact the Columbia County Emergency Management office at (706) 868-3303 or email the 
Emergency Management Agency if you have any questions about the class.

CERT Instructors


Andy Leanza CERT Program Overview and Emergency Preparedness
Andy Leanza CERT Team Organization
Andy Leanza Disaster Psychology
Andy Leanza Radio Communications
Danny Kuhlmann / Brent Willis Fire Safety and Hazardous Material Awareness

Sandra Culver / Michael Willis /
John T.Y. Smith

Disaster Medical Operations
David Bullard / Wayne Kent Light Search & Rescue Operations

Andy Leanza

  • Distribution of CERT Kits/Gear
  • Disaster Simulation
  • Final Exam


  CERT Group 27 Training Schedule 



5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

CERT Program Overview and Emergency Preparedness


5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

CERT Team Organization


5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Disaster Psychology and Radio Communications


5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Disaster Medical


5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Fire Safety


5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Hazardous Material Awareness


5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Light Search & Rescue


7 am to 12 pm

Distribution of CERT Kits/Gear, Disaster Simulation, and Final Exam


6:00 pm

Graduation / Presentation of Certificates @Commission Meeting


About CERT...
CERT training started in Columbia County in January 2004 with citizens from all over Columbia County volunteering their time to learn emergency response skills that make our community safer. 

The CERT program includes training in disaster preparedness, fire suppression, disaster medical operations (such as triage, treating life threatening injuries, assessment, treatment and hygiene), light urban search and rescue, team organization, disaster psychology and a disaster simulation exercise.

Seasoned instructors from the Emergency Management Agency, Columbia County Fire Rescue, Gold Cross EMS, Grovetown Department of Public Safety, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and the Augusta Chapter of the American Red Cross volunteer their time to conduct the training.

When emergencies happen, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, (who can easily become overwhelmed in major events), provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site.   CERT members are also called upon to assist other counties and states during major disasters.


CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community, such as making public presentations, assisting with public safety awareness events, and assisting with community disaster exercises.


The CERT training program is provided to Columbia County citizens who are 18 years or older at no cost. This program is 100% funded by Homeland Security Grant funds.


Below are just some of the many ways that CERT members have made a difference - both locally and by responding to other disaster areas...


Since 2004, Columbia County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members have participated in numerous community projects, events and response to disaster areas. Below is a brief description of how their "willingness to serve" is helping our community. 

  • CERT members have participate in numerous Full Scale Training Exercises by serving as simulated victims, operating the Mobile Operations Center (MOC), and conducting an evacuation of students from a school.
  • CERT members volunteered to participate in the local production of a new CERT Training Video that will be used nationwide to train new CERT members. The video required members to demonstrate all of the roles that CERT would fill in a disaster, including emergency preparedness at their homes, fire safety, emergency medical operations, search and rescue, disaster psychology and operating the Mobile Operations Center (MOC).
  • CERT members responded to Jefferson County following the 2008 tornado that took out power to all communications in the City of Wrens - and operated the communications for that city for three days.
  • CERT members quickly offered to help to assist the Forestry Services office with what was anticipated to be a flood of calls from citizens requesting burn permits the end of the open burning ban. There are only a few staff members at the office on a daily basis, and they could be called out to a fire, so this assistance is invaluable for our citizens.
  • CERT members providing support for county events by assisting with parking, ticket scanning and VIP area assistance.  This provided training for the CERT members in teamwork, radio communications and - in some cases - the opportunity to utilize their first aid skills.
  • Individual CERT members continuously provide presentations to community groups, assist with safety day events, and volunteer in many other ways all during the year.
  • Thirteen (13) CERT graduates volunteered to deploy to Gulfport, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina left the area in shambles. They left on Friday, September 9th at 8:00 a.m. to assist the State of Mississippi in Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. The team was deployed through GEMA and the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to serve in the capacity of a “Community Relations Team” to work with getting supplies to victims in one of the hardest hit areas...Gulfport, Mississippi. This was the only CERT team in the nation to assist with this disaster.
  • CERT members volunteered to participate in various EMA specialized teams, such as "Points of Dispensing," "Volunteer Reception Center," and Damage Assessment.  Additionally, many of the members continue their training by obtaining specialized Red Cross training, as well as going on to become "First Responders."  


   CERT Deployment-Group

Standing from left: John tucker, Margaret Williams, Jan DeAsis, Susan Hayden, Stephanie McWhorter, Joe Matosian, Ed Campbell, and KauVonda Amos (Mississippi EMA CERT Program Manager)

Kneeling from left: John Harlan, Gwen Wood, Lorraine Lynch, Jill Harpe, Bob Crutchfield, and Kathryn Crutchfield


Steve Aaronson
Lawrence Abrams
Brent Adams
Ben Adkins
Jason Alicea
Michael Allen
Susy Allen
Margaret Alligood
Kenneth Ambrose
Cynthia Ammar
Max Ammar
Andy Anderson
Debora Anderson
Keith Anderson
Brian Armstrong
Dan Armstrong
Elissa Armstrong
Nicholas Baker
Angela Banez
Maritess Banez
Mario Banez
Robin Banta
Brian Bartlett
Darlene Bartlett
Michael Bartlett
Keith Barton
John Beard
Don Beasley
Loma Beasley
Dan Beckman
John Allen Beckman
Mark Beckman
Paula Beckman
Wanda Bell
Rich Belles
Jena Berkhimer
Virginia Berkhimer
Dave Besel
Maria Bezubic
Shena Binns
Wesley Black
Dwayne Blackburn
James Blackwell
Russ Blandin
Frank Blocki
Richard Boggan
Lyn Bonner
Laurie Booher
Sam Booher
Stargel Booth
Drew Botkin
Debra Bozeman
Todd Brandenburg
Todd Brantley
Christopher Braswell
Gary Braun
Ricardo Bravo
Andrew "Drew" Brejda
Don Brigdon
Reggie Bright
David Brill
Joel Britton
Clint Brotemarkle
Charlie Brown (In Loving Memory)
Dennis Brown
Felicia Brown
Felicia Brown
Johnny Brown
Kent Bruntz
Betty Bugg
Matthew Bugg
Jalen Burns
Helen Burton
Scott Byers
Eric Cagle
Edward Campbell
Brad Cansler
Norman Carden
Dalton Cardenaz
Logan Carothers
Penny Carpentar
Ramon Carroll
William P. Caskey
Bob Cipperly
Jason Claar
Steve Clayborn
Gene Clark
Sylvia Clark
Tony Clark
Aretha Clayton
Kenneth Clayton
Billy Clayton
Richard Clegg
Heath Cliatt
Tambra Craven
Bill Cobb
Dennis Cokenour
Anthony Colbert
Mike Coleman
David Coley
Corey Cook
Jasper Cooke
Kenneth Cooter
Greg Cowling
Jonathan Covington
Shannon Covington
Eric Crawford
Kathryn Crutchfield
Robert Crutchfield
James Cunningham
Abe Curry
Richard Daniel
Scott Daniel
Ginny Dark
Judy Davidson
Curtis Davis
Joann Davis
Rob Davis
Roger Davis
Judy Daviscokenour
Joe DaVitte
Jan DeAsis
Royal DeAsis
Roy DeBolt
Jose Del Valle
Maria Del Valle
Gary Dempsey
Tom DePretoro
Mary Desormeaux
Theresa Dewalt
Gina Dickson
Todd Dickson
John Diefenderfer
Kathy Diefenderfer
Marie Dill
Michele Dillard
James Dolce
Dick Donnelly
Margaret Doss
Gregory Dross
Tina Dross
Guss Dunn
Scott Dye
Jo Dyke
Gloria Eargle
Richard Eargle
Benjamin Earnest
David Earnest
Cristo Eclavea
Chuck Elliott
Dick Embry
Betty English
Mark Erbland
Wayne Eubanks
Johnny Evans
Jasmine Favers
John Fender
Bill Ferguson
Virginia Ferguson
Larry Flanagan
Joe Ford
Adam Fowler
Matt Frame
Cheryl “Cricket” Frederick
Amanda Freeman
Wendall Freeman
Charles Frick
Linda Fulmer
Todd Gallagher
Cheryl Garcia
Nakia Gardenhire
Calvin Garnett
Richard Garniewicz
Roger Garvin
Clarence Gavitt
John Geeter
Melvin Gibson
Cindy Gilbert
Delores Gillis
Ron Goldberg
Margaret Gossert
Randal Gossert
Rico Green
Troy Green
James Greene

Marla Greene
Carolyn Grey
Charles Griffin
Ryan Griffis
Mitchell Griffith
Caroline Guay
David Guay
Joseph Guay
Ravinder Gujral
Tom Gunnels
Peter Gustin
Cory Hall
Denny Hale
Diana Hamilton
Kip Hamilton
Donald Hancock
John Harlan
John Harlan, Jr.
Jill Harpe
Lori Harrell
Wesley Harris
George Harrison
Reggie Harrison
Mike Hartsell
Bill Hartzman (In Loving Memory)
David Hattaway
Susan Hayden
Richard Haygood
Matthew Heaton
Rebekah Henderson
Reid Henderson
Kitty Hernlen
Karen Hickman
Charleston Hickson
Crystal Hillman
Earl Hilson
Donnie Hodges
Robert Hoeppel
John Holden
Sasha Holley
Tim Holloway
Tim Holt
Bette Holzberg
Gene Homschek
Sheila Homschek
Gail Hoover
Donald Horton
Andy Howell
Barbara Howell
Lori Hughes
Suzie Hughes
Ziad Husein
Tom Hyer
Pete Igel (In Loving Memory)
Mark Inglett
Evette Ingwersen
David Iverson
Anita Jackson
Curtis James
David Jewell (In Loving Memory)
Donna Jewell
Tammy John
Krista Johnson
Marcus Johnson
Troy Johnson
Brandy Jones
Carol Jones
Carrie Jones
Garrett Jones
Kendall Jones
David Jones
Dennis E. Jones
Glorious Jones
Jerry Jones
Rip Jones
Bonnie Judy
Gary Judy
Thomas Kane
Robyn Kelley
Zak Kendall
Gretchen Keneson
William Keneson
Michael Kennedy
Tyler Key
William Kitchens
Margaret Kim
Shawn King
Dianne Kirby
Jacob Kirby
David Koch
Ryan Langley
Carmen LaPierre
Dennis LaPierre
Jose Lantingua
Alisha LaPlant
Adam Laster
Andrew LaSure
Tony Lawrence
Jim Leonard
Tara LeMay
Mike Lemaire
Bill Lesshafft
Jeffrey Liu
Kyree Liggins
Pam Lightsey
Andrew Lines
Debbie Linton
Nichole Liston
Angela Lowe
Joseph Lowe
Robbie Lowe
Kelley Loxley
Stephen Loxley
Russell Loyd
Lani Luciano
Jose’ Lugo
Dorothy Luke
Sheri Luthi
Lorraine Lynch
Kenric Lynn
Stan Maciaszek
John Maldonado
Catherin Mallon
Michael Maloney
Bill Manders
Ivy Mann
Eli Martin
Chris Martin
Lisa Martin
Sherry Martin
Valerie Martin
Matthew Mason
Douglas Massey
Joseph Matosian
Janice Matthews
Gerald May
Daniel Mayne
Lorenzo McCladdie
Larry McClure
Phil McCorkle
Robert McCorkell
Jennifer McCracken
Keely McDaniel
Rick McDonald
Johnny McGahee
Clifford McGhee
George McKain
Jean McKain
Alan McKenney
Barbara McLaughlin
William McLaughlin
Patricia McMenamin
Ben McWhorter
Scott McWhorter
Stephanie McWhorter
Eric Meaders
James M. Mecredy
Lucette Mecredy
Martin Meinshausen
Danny Messano
Kathy Messano
Charles Messick
Victoria Middleton
Cynthia Millard
Jenna Miller
Travis Miller
Iris Miranda
Beulah Montague
Bert Moody
Ryan Moore
Wilmer Moore
John W. Morgan
Wayne Moseley
Pete Mourfield
Mike Mulcahy
David Muntz
Mike Murphey
James Murray
Jim Murray
Martin Murray
John Murrell
Rich Murtha
Jason Nalley
Lori Narez
Tim Nelken

 Dana Nelms
Laurie Nerling
Dennis Niehoff
Ann Nordin
Calvin Norris
Tonji Norris
Doug Nunley
Daniel O'Brien
Michael O’Byrne
George O'Connell
Bill Oellerich
Curtis Oglesby
Dennis Oliphant
Vincent Pacchiana
Sujan Pakala
Betty Palmer
Allen Parham
Linda Parnell
Robert Payne
James Payton
Dawn Peel
Ryan “Mike” Peel
Francisco Perez
Tony Perrotto
George Perry
Bill Pettyjohn
Tom Phair
Danny Phillips
Kenneth Phillips
Christopher Pierson
Stephanie Pilcher
Chris Pileggi
Jerry Pitman
Terry Pitts
Chester Plecha
Napolean Pollard
Cherie Portinga
Nathan Portinga
Almon Poss
Nick Poston
Dwayne Powell
Darlene Pressley
Devorah Pringle
Vicki Proefrock
Henry Pruett
Lauren Rabb
Emory Rabitsch
Melissa Radle
William Ragnow
Russell Rainey
Anthony Rakofsky
Shelley Redd
Avery Reddick
Arthur Rhodes
Kimberly Richard
Bob Richards
John Richards
Darren Riley
Kathy Riley
Brent Roberson
Vince Robertson
Bruce Robinson
Donald Robinson
Susan Rodgers
Benjamin Rogers
Ellen Roland
Mel Rosabal
Christa Royal
Shelly Rucker
Trent Rubenstein
Zaki Rucker
Richard Runnels
Tom Ryan
Mark Salter
Gwenda Sanderson
Daniel Sankey
Bobbie Sue Schiffhauer
Lee Schiffhauer
Lavonne Schwab
David Schwartzkopf
Christal Senn
Steve Shelt
Tammy Shelton
Diane Sherman
Peter Shirley
Ramkishan Shetty
Tracey Shoemaker
Ted Sills
David Silver
Mollie Silver
Rodney Silvey
Leonard Simmons
Hugo Sinclair
Dawn Sindelair
Brett Smith
Kim Smith
Joel Smith
John T.Y. Smith
Kim Smith
Patricia Smith
Scott Smith
Stephen J. Smith
Tanya Smith
Willie Smith
Nancy Snyder
Jason Sowinski
Cheryl Spindler
Todd Spindler
John Stafford
Zachary Stafford
Dave Stewart
Andrea Stevens
Matt Stevens
Rachel Stith
Joan Stoddard
Allison Stone
Mark Story
Jerry Swain
John Sweat
Jackie Tatum
Randall Tatum
Dexter Taylor
Julie Terwilliger
Dotty Thomas
Robert Thornhill
Ira Tindall
Jason Thomaston
Alan Thompson
Jorge Thompson
Pearce Truesdale
Kenneth Turner
Marlon Tutt
Miran Tyrrell
Shari Tyson
Janet Vaughn
Raam Vichare
Eden Vickrey
Steven Vincent
Basil Vintinner
Michael Waddell
Bob Waldera
Jeremy Wall
Troy Ward
Jeffrey A. Ward
Richard Ward
Priscilla Warren
Elwood Warrick
Jennifer Weeks
Wesley Wehunt
Roland Weisser
Thomas Weisz
Clyde Welch
Eddie Welch
Earl Welsh
Kristina Wendorf
Jerry Whitaker
Mike Whitaker
Steve Wilkerson
Jay Wilkins
Les Wilkinson
Chris Williams
Dalton Williams
Margaret Williams
Shannon Williams
Teri Williams
Aleta Williamson
Jim Williamson (In Loving Memory)
Katherine Williford
Bill Willingham
Tami Wilson
YeSun Wiltse
Mike Wiltse
William Wingfield
Marcie Wingo
Douglas Wood
Gwen Wood
Hunter Woods
Leonard Worley
Eddie Writer
Kim Writer
Justin Youngblood
Brian Zembiak
Paul Zielinski
Michael Zollo
Michelle Zupan











Group 9 - 2007

Group 10 - 2007

Group 11 2008

Group 12 - 2008

CERT Group 13

CERT Group 14

CERT Group 15 - 2010

CERT Group 16

Group 17-1

CERT Group 18

GROUPS 19 & 20
CERT Groups 19 and 20

Group 21 - 2013

CERT Group 22 - 2013

CERT Group 23 2014

CERT Group 24 2015

CERT Group 25 2016

CERT Group 26 - Photo

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