WEST ORANGE, NJ - Rotary Club International has donated $11,000 to Essex County for the purchase of equipment and supplies for 150 members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

"Rotary Club International has a long history of helping the community and we are pleased to have established a partnership with them here in Essex County," said Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo.

"Through the support of local Rotary Clubs, we have been able to make some significant improvements throughout the County. This donation will go a long way in providing the resources we need to continue keeping our residents safe during emergency situations," he added.

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Said Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, "Our municipal and regional CERT teams throughout Essex County are vital to our emergency management operations. CERTmembers provide our communities with skilled assistance during emergency conditions and they have distinguished themselves throughout severe weather events, including during hurricanes, nor'easters, blackouts, floods and mud slides." 

"Essex Office of Emergency Management also commends Rotary International and all the local Rotary Clubsfor their civic leadership in making these essential supplies available to our CERT teams," he added.

The $11,000 grant will provide CERT uniforms (caps and shirts), field desks, traffic control wands, electronic road flares, identification lanyards and all-weather notebooks for 150 CERT team members. The supplies will be distributed to the CERT teams in Belleville, East Orange, Irvington, South Orange, West Essex and West Orange.

According to the county, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people regarding disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, including fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

CERT members are trained to assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. 

The Essex County Office of Emergency Management is located at 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange,  in the South Mountain Recreation Complex. For more information on CERT, go to:

http://www.essexsheriff.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4&Itemid=7.

For more information on Rotary Club International, go to: http://www.rotary.org.