Archived Story

Sheriff’s Dept. offering CERT program

Published 4:42pm Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey is pleased to announce that the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management/Homeland Security, along with the Berrien County Fire Fighters Training Committee, will be hosting a Basic CERT class starting Jan. 8.  This class will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, over a four-week period, from 6 p.m until 9:30 p.m.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or workplace. If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, CERT members can apply the training learned in the classroom and during exercises to give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until help arrives. When help does arrive, CERT members can provide useful information to responders and support their efforts, as directed, at the disaster site.

Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors such as number of victims, communication failures, and road blockages can prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment’s notice through 911. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate lifesaving and life sustaining needs.

CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference.

To register for this free class, please contact Gayle Bassett (gbassett@berriencounty.org) or call 269-983-7111 ext. 4915.

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