All of Branchburg, NJ



Office of Emergency Management Coordinator
Officer Bryan Russoniello
908-526-3830 X468
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Bburg CERT Brochure5

Are Branchburg residents really prepared should disaster hit?  The time to prepare is now, long before the storms and other disasters occur.  Please check the links below for more information concerning Homeland Security and other information on preparedness.

For citizens interested in becoming involved in Emergency Management, the Township offers many opportunities to do just that. The Township's Office of Emergency Management has a program of recruiting volunteers for its CERT Program. This federally funded program trains residents to help themselves, their neighbors and their community during disasters. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) provides basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills to improve the ability of the citizens to survive until emergency personnel arrive. CERT teams have been used to search for lost or kidnapped children, staff Emergency Operations Centers and assist Red Cross and other relief organizations on mass care. CERT training consists of 20 hours of instruction over an eight-week period. We currently have 9 active members with 4 associates. 

For more information, please contact Officer Bryan Russoniello.

For additional information click here.


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:
 - severely restrict and overwhelm emergency response resources, communications, transportation and utilities;
- leave individuals and neighborhoods cut off from outside emergency support.

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 about how to become a local CERT volunteer, please email Douglas J. Vornlocker or call (908) 725-5070. Somerset County offers two free CERT training programs in the spring and fall.  For more information email Nina Tchir or call  (908) 725-5070.

CERT Course Schedule/Application

Course Overview

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:

Session I:
Disaster Preparedness Introduction to disasters specific to Somerset County, and the impact of disaster on infrastructure.

Session II:
Disaster Fire Suppression Identifying and reducing potential fire hazards and basic fire suppression.

Session III:
Disaster Medical Operations Part I Treatment strategies for life-threatening conditions and principles of triage.

Session IV:
Disaster Medical Operations Part II Head-to- toe patient assessment and treatment for various injuries.

Session V:
Light Search & Rescue Operations Techniques for sizing up and searching, lifting, cribbing and removing victims; rescue safety.

Session VI:
Disaster Psychology & Team Organization The post-disaster emotional environment will be discussed. CERT organization, decision making and documentation.

Session VII:
A brief overview of terrorism weapons. Identifying targets in an area and discuss time/distance/shielding.

Session VIII:
Final Exercise
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.
Disaster can strike when you least expect it...

MAKE A KIT of emergency supplies
•Water and Food
•First Aid Kit
•Supply Checklist
•Special Need Items

MAKE A PLAN for what you will do in an emergency
•Create a Family Plan
•Decide to Stay or Go
•At Work or Home
•In a Moving Vehicle
•In a High-rise Building

BE INFORMED about what might happen
•Natural Disaster
•Terrorist Threat
•Biological, Nuclear, Chemical, Explosion, Radiation Threats
•Local Emergency

Don’t be afraid.............. Be Ready.

Image result for citizen corps                                Bburg CERT Brochure3

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