The Carbon County Citizen Corps Council has a new leader.

During a special meeting of the council, members chose Tom Newman as the new president. He fills the spot after former president Tony Walck declined the position because of scheduling conflicts at home and work.

Newman will be joined by Howard Girer, vice president; Megan Fredericks, financial secretary; and Donna Kattner, recording secretary.

Members of the group thanked Walck for his years of service to the group, which began in 2001.

Following the election of officers, Newman announced that Community Emergency Response Team training classes have been scheduled.

The CERT program is designed to introduce county residents to basic emergency training such as first aid, triage, disaster preparedness, fire suppression, light search and rescue and terrorism awareness.

The goal of the program is to help one's neighbors in the event of an emergency.

The classes will be held between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m., at the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency, 1264 Emergency Lane, Nesquehoning, in April and September. Attendance is required all four days to become certified.

Class dates are April 7, 14, 21 and 28 and Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29.

To sign up, call the EMA at 570-325-3097.

Mark Nalesnik, county Emergency Management Agency coordinator, also noted that the best way to get the word out about emergencies is through the Ready Notify Carbon system. Residents can sign up to be notified through the system, via email or text, when something happens.

To date, nearly 650 county residents have signed up for the notification, and Nalesnik hopes that more will follow.

To sign up, visit carbon.alertpa.org.

The Carbon County Citizen Corps Council oversees the CERT program and the County Animal Response Team, and aims to help people through training and education, and make communities safer and better prepared to respond to emergencies.

For more information on the Citizen Corps or to become a member, call the EMA or attend the next meeting of the council, which will be at 6:30 p.m., April 24, at the EMA building.