COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a concept developed in 1985 by the Los Angeles Fire Department. They recognized that citizens would very likely be on their own during the first few hours after a catastrophic disaster. The LAFD created CERT to help provide vital services in the absence of emergency responders. Today, more than 38 states and several foreign countries have instituted the CERT program in their local communities.
The events of September 11, 2001 will never be forgotten, also not forgotten is how the spirit of America awoke that day and citizens came forth to volunteer their services. President George W. Bush harnessed this spirit of volunteerism with the creation of the Citizens Corps program. CERT is one facet of the Citizens Corp Program.
CERT—What is it?
Each year, many communities are rocked by severe weather, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, winter storms, or by manmade disasters. The damage caused by such disasters affect everyone. Disasters can:
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) are trained to take care of themselves and then help others in their communities for the first three days following a disaster. This is when debris-clogged or damaged roads, disrupted communications, or high volume of calls may prevent access by emergency response personnel. The purpose of CERT training is to provide citizens with the basic skills required to handle virtually all their own needs and then to be able to respond to their community’s needs in the aftermath of a disaster.
How Can I Join?
To become a CERT member, you must be at least 18 years of age. If you want to volunteer your services and become trained to protect yourself and your family from disasters; natural or man-made, become a CERT member.
CERT training is offered free of charge by the Somerset County Emergency Training Academy (SCESTA) in Hillsborough in the Spring and Fall. For more information on training or to register, contact:
Anthony DeMatteo, E.S.S.
Somerset County CERT Coordinator
Somerset County OEM
The CERT training consists of 20 hours of instruction. Classes are taught by emergency responders, including firefighters, emergency medical & law enforcement personnel from Somerset County. The course includes:
Disaster Preparedness Introduction to disasters specific to Somerset County, and the impact of disaster on infrastructure.
Disaster Fire Suppression Identifying and reducing potential fire hazards and basic fire suppression.
Disaster Medical Operations Part I Treatment strategies for life-threatening conditions and principles of triage.
Disaster Medical Operations Part II Head-to- toe patient assessment and treatment for various injuries.
Light Search & Rescue Operations Techniques for sizing up and searching, lifting, cribbing and removing victims; rescue safety.
Disaster Psychology & Team Organization The post-disaster emotional environment will be discussed. CERT organization, decision making and documentation.
A brief overview of terrorism weapons. Identifying targets in an area and discuss time/distance/shielding.
Disaster Simulation realistic to Somerset County.
CERT Training Will Teach Participants to:
- Describe the types of hazards most likely to affect their homes and communities.
- Describe the function of CERT and their roles in immediate response.
- Take steps to prepare themselves for disaster.
- Identify and reduce potential fire hazards in their homes and workplaces.
- Work as a team to apply basic fire suppression strategies, resources, and safety measures to extinguish a burning liquid.
- Apply techniques for opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating shock.
- Conduct triage under simulated conditions.
- Perform head-to-toe assessments
- Select and set up a treatment area.
- Employ basic treatments for various wounds.
- Identify planning and size-up requirements for potential search and rescue situations.
- Describe the most common techniques for searching a structure.
- Use safe techniques for debris removal and victim extrication.
- Describe ways to protect rescuers during search and rescue.
Don’t be afraid.............. Be Ready.
For more information, go to www.ready.gov
COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM