PLAINFIELD, NJ — Plainfield's Community Emergency Response Team formed in November 2012. It is currently ten members strong, and is looking to grow. The non-profit program falls under the direction of the City's Office of Emergency Management, which reports to Fire Director Kenneth Childress.
The CERT program educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, including fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT exercises reflect realistic events that can impact a community. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) made the concept and program available to communities nationwide in 1993.
Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood when professional responders are not immediately available to help.
Plainfield's "Queen City" CERT helps prepare neighbors for potential disasters like storms, civil emergencies, and more to supplement the work of public safety officials. The group assists neighbors in preparing a "Go Bag" with information and essential needs like prescriptions, allergy medicines, sanitizer, and more.
The Plainfield CERT group is actively seeking members. Prospective members take a 20-hour course that includes training on First Aid, Suppression, and Terrorism.
Teens 14-18 years old can participate, too. Teen CERT members can help organize volunteers, assist in evacuations, aid survivors, provide damage assessment information, provide shelter support, and assist with crowd control. Teen CERTs can also help year-round at school by participating in disaster drills, and assisting in preparedness outreach.
Take a look at CERT.
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