Community Emergency Response Team
What Is CERT?
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is a program that educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills. These skills include fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. Using the training they learn in the classroom and during exercises, Cert members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
How Does CERT benefit the Community?
People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps top lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or workplace. If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, CERT members can apply the training learned in the classroom and during exercises to give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until help arrives. When help does arrive the CERT members provide useful information the responders and support their efforts, as directed, at the disaster site. CERT members can also assist with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community. CERT members have been used to distribute and/or install smoke alarms, replace smoke alarm batteries in the home of elderly, distribute disaster education material, provide services at special events, such as parades, sporting events, concerts and more.
The CERT program falls under the Decatur County Emergency Management Agency. This is an ongoing program here in Decatur County and the membership has grown to include a team in Greensburg as well as growing the Clarksburg Team. The CERT Orginization has also added over 75 members of Teen CERT, by training volunteers from the local schools. This is an exciting new twist to the concept of citizens helping citizens.
If you would like to become a CERT member or for more information contact Rick Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-850-4471.
Information is also available at the Decatur County Emergency Management web site. www.decaturcounty.in.gov/ema. There will be more training sessions in 2017