DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is hosting two free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training classes.

The first nine-week class begins on Thursday, Jan. 4, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at DeKalb Fire Rescue Headquarters, 1950 West Exchange Place, Tucker, GA 30084.

A second nine-week CERT class begins on Tuesday, Jan. 9, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at DeKalb Fire Rescue Headquarters.

Participants will learn what to do before, during and after a disaster. The training will also teach citizens to care for family members and neighbors.

Course topics include:

•           Disaster preparedness

•           Basic fire suppression

•           Medical operations

•           Light search-and-rescue operations

•           Disaster psychology

•           Team organization and terrorism

•           Autism awareness

The class is free for DeKalb County citizens, and all participants must pass a background check. For more information or to register, contact Emergency Management Specialist Chayne Sparagowski at or 770-724-7812.

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.