CHATHAM, NJ – The Chatham Township Committee, has announced that it is launching a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program to help support its first responders in preparedness activities, community welfare during major weather-related events, and organized community recovery efforts following a crisis.

Individuals interested in learning about this volunteer opportunity and training program are encouraged to attend an information session on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Chatham Township Municipal Building located at 58 Meyersville Road.

Residents are encouraged to RSVP at OEM@chathamtownship-nj.gov Mayor Curt Ritter, speaking on behalf of the Committee, said, “Chatham Township is fortunate to have a dedicated group of first responders who are always ready to assist our residents in their time of need. However, as we learned last winter, there may be times when our first responders need to perform duties that only they are trained to perform, while other tasks can be managed by a group of CERT volunteers. I encourage our residents who have an interest in getting involved and serving their community to come to our information session where they can learn more about this exciting opportunity to help protect and serve our community.”

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CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, which allows them to focus on more complex tasks. Through CERT, the capabilities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters is built and enhanced. CERT program members will receive an initial 20 hours of training in basic disaster and emergency response skills from experienced instructors in the first responder and emergency management professions. Members of a CERT program are initially trained in: • Disaster preparedness • Disaster fire suppression • Disaster medical operations • Light search and rescue operations • Disaster psychology and team organization • Terrorism and the CERT program • Disaster exercises, drills and simulations • Principles of the incident command and management • CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator ) lifesaving skills • Extreme violence and active shooter awareness

ABOUT CERT

CERT is a national community preparedness program operated under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizen Corps Council. It was originally developed and implemented by the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985. FEMA recognized the importance of the program and adopted and expanded the CERT program and materials to cover all hazards, from natural disasters to terrorist attacks.