News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners
Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Melonie Marano, Commissioner Deputy Director
Sara Sooy, Commissioner Ÿ Paul Drake, Commissioner Ÿ Doug Singleterry, Commissioner
For Immediate Release
Somerset County CERT Volunteers Complete Basic Training
CERT Members Are Vital to Local Disaster Response
SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County’s Office of Emergency Management graduated another seven local residents during the November 2022 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic Training. These volunteers spent twenty-six hours over seven days learning how to support their community and first-responders when disasters strike through a coordinated, team effort at the municipal or county level.
“The expansion of our CERT volunteer base means that our municipalities and Somerset County will be more prepared to respond to disasters in the future, including those caused by the increasing frequency and severity of storms here in Central Jersey,” said Commissioner Doug Singleterry, liaison to the Office of Emergency Management. “We all owe a debt of gratitude to these volunteers who give their time and expertise preparing our communities to respond in crisis and being the foundation of our response when crises strike.”
November’s CERT class included residents of Branchburg, Manville, Bernardsville, Warren, South Bound Brook and Peapack Gladstone and are eligible to join their local CERT programs. Local CERTs train and organize teams of volunteers to assist their families, neighbors, co-workers and other community members during emergencies when professional responders may not be immediately available to provide assistance.
Following their full week of training in Disaster Preparedness, CERT Organization, Light Search and Rescue, Disaster Psychology, Terrorism, Fire Safety, Medical Operations and Sheltering Operations each participant must complete a written exam and practical exercise to graduate. The practical excises include “cribbing” to remove a person trapped under a heavy object using leverage, and a search and rescue simulation.
Before, during, and after disasters, CERT volunteer teams perform basic response activities, including checking in on neighbors, distribution of information to the public, supporting emergency operations centers, and helping to manage traffic and crowds. The deployment of CERT volunteers to perform these activities frees up professional responders to focus efforts on more complex, essential, and often life-saving tasks. CERT volunteers also support their communities by organizing, promoting, and participating in emergency preparedness events, activities, and projects.
For more information regarding the CERT program, please utilize the following link – https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/government/public-health-safety/emergency-management/cert-volunteers
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