Methodists Prepare For Emergencies


By Cynthia Laird, Senatobia District Communications Coordinator

Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church in Olive Branch,

Terry and Debra Luna put out a grease fire.
Mississippi hosted a community emergency response team (CERT) training October 25 - 27, 2013, which was led by the DeSoto County Emergency Management Agency (EMA). Tim Curtis, deputy director of DeSoto County emergency services, offered the training that consisted of 20 hours of hands-on instruction and participation. His assistants included firemen, safety volunteers, a former air traffic controller and a security expert. 


Group attending fire safety training.

With this training, volunteers are better prepared to help save lives and lessen suffering in emergencies while not becoming a victim and part of the problem. When the safety professionals arrive on the scene, a CERT trained volunteer is prepared to communicate important information so that the professionals with the skills, knowledge and equipment can readily and effectively deal with complex health and life threatening situations.


CERT volunteers must always have a buddy working with them to keep them safe and to help them give the most effective assistance to others in emergencies.   While training on the proper and safe use of fire extinguishers, CERT trainees were joined by Cub Scout Pack 741 and the pack's leaders. Parents and other family members of Pack 741 participated in the fire safety training as well. Also attending the entire weekend of training was professional gospel singers and songwriters, Terry and Debra Luna. The pair routinely set gospel fires with their music but can quite effectively put out a grease fire thanks to training.


Those who are interested in scheduling CERT training may contact Tim Curtis by email at:, or call the EMA office at 662-469-8017.


If you would like to learn more about disaster response in Mississippi, contact the Rev. Wayne Napier, at 228-216-2560   You can also visit the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) website at: