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By Staff reports, Spartanburg Herald Journal
Robbie Swofford, Senior Research Analyst of the Spartanburg County Emergency Management Services, was chosen to receive the Modern Woodmen of America's Hometown Hero award for 2016. Swofford was chosen because of the eleven years he has spent building a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Spartanburg County. Even though he is employed by the county, all the time he spends outside of his office with CERT is as a volunteer. Local government prepares for everyday emergencies. However, during a disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency services. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation. Since Spartanburg CERT creation in August 2005, it has become the largest CERT program in SC with 1,156 people trained since its creation. To reach 1,156 trained, the program has conducted 58 training sessions, around 300 plus classes, and well over 1,100 hours committed to reaching this number. Swofford has acquired some of the best trainers that spend many hours training fire suppression, first aid, search and rescue, mapping, ham radio, and more. The search and rescue teams have been helpful in finding missing persons across the upstate and into North Carolina. With Swofford's grant writing skills, he has equipped the teams with lots of equipment in order to do the best job possible. Spartanburg County CERT has received many awards and that was made possible by the time and effort of Swofford along with his devoted trainers and team members. According to Modern Woodmen of America, volunteers form the foundation of a strong community. The Hometown Hero program gives the community the chance to thank those who selflessly give their time to make the world a better place.