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The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a nationwide organization of volunteer who receive training on how to provide assistance in the event of a catastrophe that might overwhelm the community’s immediate response capability. Most communities have adequate fire, police, EMS, and other professional for day-to-day emergencies. For major events, they may call on nearby communities for help. But if widespread destruction and casualties occur, these forces might not be able to provide immediate assistance to everyone who needs it. That is when a trained group of volunteers can prove valuable.
CERT volunteers maybe asked to help when an emergency reaches the scale where local safety forces cannot respond to all of the needs of the community. Volunteers acting under the direction of the safety forces might perform triage, administer first aid, put out small fires, help people get to emergency shelters, locate missing or injured people, or comfort victims and their families. All sorts of skills are useful, from record-keeping to preparing meals for emergency workers during prolonged on incidents.
The team also assists with large-scale public health and safety campaigns such as vaccination clinics, emergency preparedness, and distribution of disaster education materials.
Cleveland Heights CERT volunteers should live and/or work in Cleveland Heights. All members of the team are required to take a 20-hour training course created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
This course covers a wide variety of topics including
A background check is required. After completion of training, volunteers have opportunities to attend regular meetings of the local CERT, participate in disaster simulations, and receive additional instruction from a variety of agencies.
Information about CERT. For more information on becoming a CERT volunteer, contact the Cleveland Heights Fire Department at 216-291-2673.
C.E.R.T. Application (PDF)