Underwood announces $302,920 for CERT training

Published 10:59 pm Thursday, February 2, 2006

By Staff
CASSOPOLIS - Sheriff Joseph M. Underwood Jr. Tuesday announced a $302,920 CERTDAP training award to Cass County.
These training funds are dedicated to the continuity and expansion of the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training and opportunity to establish the SERT (Student Emergency Response Team) training in Cassopolis, Edwardsburg and Marcellus school districts.
(Dowagiac programs are directed by the city and its police department.)
What is CERT?
CERT is a training program that prepares you to help yourself, your family and your neighbors in the event of a disaster.
During an incident, emergency service personnel may not be able to reach everyone immediately.
By getting trained in CERT, you will have the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property.
What do CERT teams
do in an emergency?
Under the direction of local emergency responders, CERT teams help provide critical support by giving immediate assistance to victims, providing damage assessment information and organizing other volunteers at a disaster site.
Volunteers trained in CERT also perform duties such as shelter support, crowd control and evacuation.
The role of a CERT volunteer is to help others until trained emergency personnel respond.
How does CERT help
the community?
In addition to supporting emergency responders during a disaster, the CERT program builds strong working relationships between emergency responders and the people they serve.
CERT teams also help the community year-round by helping with community emergency plans, neighborhood exercises, preparedness outreach, fire safety education and workplace safety.
What are benefits
of CERT training?
Participants learn how to:
 Identify and anticipate hazards.
Reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace.
 Extinguish small fires.
 Assist emergency responders.
Conduct light search and rescue.
Set up medical treatment areas.
Apply basic medical techniques.
 Help reduce survivor stress.
Who should take
CERT training?
People interested in taking an active role in hometown preparedness.
Neighborhood Watch groups.
Community leaders.
Communities of faith.
Scouting and youth organizations.
Students, teachers and administrators.
Members of clubs and civic organizations.
In 95 percent of all emergencies, the victim or bystander provides the first immediate assistance on the scene.
Would you know what to do?
CERT training takes about 20 hours to complete and provides critical skills in emergency preparedness and response.
This CERTDAP training grant award will provide equipment for CERT/SERT members to use in the event of activation.
The funding is based on a projected five-year program to train a total of 1,250 Cass County residents/students.
These teams provide a valuable resource for Cass County Emergency Management in the event of a large-scale emergency event and can also offer support to other first-responder agencies as needed.
Schedules for future CERT classes and pre-registration details will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.