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NEWS | Aug. 20, 2013

CERT programs inspires local teens

By Senior Airman Tom Brading

The Teen CERT program is a Community Emergency Response Team. Interested youth from the ages 14 through 20 years old can become a part of a unique exploration program that prepares and trains for basic disaster response skills (fire safety, light search & rescue, etc.)

The organization's message is to train, educate and inform teens in the South Carolina counties of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester. In addition, their mission is to let local teens (including military) experience the pride and responsibility as serving as a first responder.

"This program is a great way to give back to our younger generation and help them see there are many opportunities to succeed in life and help others doing so," said Staff Sgt. James Sweet, 437th Operations Support Squadron combat crew operations. "I have been part of this group for a short period of time, but since joining as an advisor there is no better feeling than watching those you mentor making good life decisions."

Whether you want to be part of an Emergency Service Career Field or not, this group will benefit teenagers by building leadership skills, social skills and receive important training such as CPR and how to prepare for any natural disaster.

"We are really trying to expand our group, both in certified teens and advisors, so we can support Charleston PD special events, after school activities (Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester) counties for parents who cannot commit to drive their children everywhere and just build a diverse friendship," said Sweet.

Group meetings are held every second and fourth Thursday of every month at 180 Lockwood Blvd, Charleston, SC from 5 to 7 p.m. to discuss news and special events within the group. Right now the organization is getting ready to start up a new Teen CERT course late September to early October.

To get a more in depth look on our mission and goals you can go to and/or LIKE our Facebook page 'Teen CERT Explorer Post 911'