The CERT team falls under the umbrella of the Sparta Township Emergency Preparedness steering committee as part of the Office of Emergency Management, directed by Chief Ernie Reigstad. Sparta resident Alex Kloain is a certified CERT trainer. He ran the sessions based on FEMA guidelines.
The most recent graduating class include eight Sparta residents:
- John Crowley,
- Rosemarie Dioneda,
- Joseph Dumanov,
- David Hubbell,
- Frederika Link,
- Ron Quinn,
- Jeanie Struble,
- Gary Trageser,
There were two Jefferson residents; Donna Anderson and Jared Black
There were also two people who trained to be a part of a Sussex county CERT; Robert Kalosy and Dale Speroni.
These graduates will join the 12 that finished with the first round of training.
Councilwoman Christine Quinn has spearheaded this initiative from the beginning. Quinn said, "The success of our Sparta Township CERT program is a direct result of the outstanding volunteer efforts of all involved. As the CERT program continues to grow, so does our ability to maintain continuity throughout our township before, during and after any incident and/or event. All residents are invited and encouraged to participate. "
At the council meeting Township Manager Bill Close said, "I would like to commend Councilwoman Quinn for her tremendous energy and enthusiasm. I would also like to acknowledge Chief Ernie Reigstad for his efforts in working to bring this program to fruition. He, along with Councilwoman Quinn and Alex Kloian, have been the driving forces in the development of this volunteer program for the benefit of the community.
“The members of this CERT graduating class are volunteers that will be able to use the practical skills obtained during their training to effectively assist our professional responders in emergency situations. We are confident that they will make a positive difference when we have a community emergency.”
There will be a Teen CERT program this summer and additional training opportunities for residents as well. The 22 hour training program is free. CERT is a national program sponsored by FEMA. IT is a national certification, transferable to anywhere in the country.