November 1, 2014

CERT

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Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

In the event of a disaster, emergency response resources are stretched beyond their limits. In many instances, volunteers appear to assist emergency personnel in responding to disaster scenes. Recognizing that the assistance that such volunteers provide can contribute greatly to public safety, and understanding that untrained volunteers require direction, leadership, and education to perform such duties safely, FEMA adopted the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.

Sponsored by the Sterling City/Logan County Office of Emergency Management, with the assistance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) along with the Colorado Office of Emergency Management (COEM), the Logan County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps train our community to mitigate the effects of a disaster during the first 72 hours and provide tertiary assistance to professional emergency responders when such efforts are hampered by damaged roads, disrupted communications, high call volume, etc. The purpose of CERT is to provide citizens with the basic skills that they will need to handle virtually all of their own needs and then respond to their communities in the aftermath of a disaster.

certlogoComprised of a 21 hour training course, the CERT program is taught by trained emergency responders and the curriculum includes:

  • Disaster preparedness
  • Disaster fire suppression
  • Basic disaster medical operations
  • Light search and rescue operations
  • Disaster psychology and team organization
  • CERT and terrorism

CERT volunteers could be teachers, business managers, clerical professionals, civic leaders, maintenance personnel, and other civilian volunteers who use their training to provide valuable assistance along side of professional emergency responders. They provide to the overwhelmed response agency a large number of trained, helping hands to accomplish substantially more than emergency response agencies could accomplish alone.

CERTs are trained to recognize their limits and avoid situations or incidents that exceed that training. CERT volunteers are not asked to enter areas or participate in incidents that place them in undue danger.

Organizations may even sponsor their own CERT teams tailored to their own specific needs. Such organizations that benefit most from sponsoring CERT programs are areas of high populations such as:

  • School districts
  • Retirement homes and assisted living centers
  • Universities and colleges
  • Large industries or businesses
  • Civic, scouting, or community groups
  • Churches or charitable organizations

Logan County CERT Training

Through the Sterling/Logan Office of Emergency Management, CERT Basic Training sessions are offered on a regular basis. CERT basic training sessions may be scheduled one a weeknight over several weeks, or over Saturdays over four weeks. The Logan County CERT is always interested in training new members to join the team, helping establish a team for your business, school, organization, or group.

To join or form your own team, contact:

Bob Owens
CERT Government Advisor
421 North 4th Street
Sterling, CO 80751
(970) 522-9700