PT residents can join disaster relief program

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At the March 25 Pleasant Township Board of Trustees meeting, members discussed a disaster relief program that will be made available to area residents if they want to join.

When Fire Chief Jay Noojin and Pleasant Township Chairman Keith Goldhardt were at the Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security meeting last month, representatives of the Franklin County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) approached them about their group and wanted to see what the community reaction would be to such a program.

"They’ll be at one of the biggest meetings in Pleasant Township," said Goldhardt. "After the comprehensive plan meeting, they’ll speak to the residents about the response team for a few minutes and explain what it is all about."

Since that comprehensive plan meeting will be held before press time, there are still ways to become involved; all it takes is a computer and Internet access.

The CERT program helps train people to be better prepared to respond to emergencies situations in their communities.

"After September 11 or after what happened in Oklahoma City, you had all these people wanting to pitch in and help, and this is the organized way to do so," said Noojin.

The CERT members are trained to give critical aid to families, neighbors and the rest of the community when emergency services are taxed, explained Goldhardt.

"I see it as a great way to organize the people who want to help, instead of, and I don’t mean this to be rude, getting in the way of emergency crews," Noojin said.

To join the program, one must complete the basic series of CERT classes, which are open to the public and free of charge.

Over the course of several weeks and 20 hours of training, CERT will cover disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations and light search and rescue team operations.

"I think this is a great thing for people who want to help out in case there is a disaster in Pleasant Township," Noojin said.

CERT meets the second Sunday if each month at 5 p.m. at 5300 Strawberry Farms Blvd. in Columbus. The monthly meetings are open to the public.

If you are a resident and are interested in joining, you can go to www.fccert.org/contact.htm or go to Web site www.fccert.org and find out more about the disaster relief program.

In other news

The township’s annual spring cleanup is scheduled for May 16-17 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 5373 Norton Road.

"We’ll have five or six huge Dumpsters on site and people can bring their stuff on it and throw it out into the proper containers," Goldhardt said.

However, there are some items that will not be accepted, such as yard waste and hazardous materials.

"We also do not take paint or batteries," said Pleasant Township Vice-Chairperson Dale Worthington. "Those go to the hazardous materials site."

Each year, the township holds two cleanups, one in the spring, and one in the fall.

"It’s all helps to keep Pleasant Township beautiful," Noojin said.

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