Chocowinity EMS searching for more volunteers to join 'CERT'


CHOCOWINITY, Beaufort County - Chocowinity EMS is making local emergency responses more efficient -- at no additional cost to taxpayers.

The efforts all began with a community emergency response team known as "CERT." It has been holding training courses since July, training 65 volunteer first responders.

The training courses teach the volunteers a variety of skills, like fire safety, first aid and search-and-rescue procedures.

Chocowinity EMS Captain Shane Grier says the goal of the program is for staff and other resources to be less overwhelmed during disasters.

"A volunteer hour, to a county, is worth about $30 an hour," Grier said. "If you take 100 volunteers, at $30 an hour, you can imagine how much money that does save the county in overall finances."

The third volunteer training started Friday. The course is free for anyone who is interested in signing up for the next one. You don't have to be from Chocowinity or even Beaufort County to participate. As long as you are a North Carolina resident, you are welcome to volunteer.