The event is free and everyone is invited to learn about what the Red Cross does and what training you need to become a volunteer. Following a major disaster, fire and rescue resources may be unable to immediately respond to all those in need. The Department recognizes the value each trained citizen will bring in the event of a major disaster. On April 30, CERT trainers put the volunteers through their final training exercise to practice simulated emergencies, including search-and-rescue operations in adverse conditions, moving and bracing debris to extricate trapped victims and extinguishing fires. This year, the program welcomed Evanston residents for the first time to join in the training, a partnership started last year between the Evanston Fire Department and the Emergency Services Division of University Police (UP). The CERT program is a volunteer opportunity and training program for community members to help support preparedness activities, community welfare during major special events and organized community recovery efforts following a crisis.
Janetske, who serves as Evanston’s emergency preparedness manager, noted that the city has had a CERT program since 2004 with citizen volunteers who have come out day and night to assist police and fire officials in a variety of emergency support roles.
Barbara Auerback, an attorney and one of the Evanston residents who participated in this year’s CERT training program, said she was interested in the class, in part, because of her work.
In an emergency, CERT volunteers would swing into action in support roles to assist, he said.
CERT program members receive an initial 16 hours of training in basic disaster and emergency response skills from experienced and skilled instructors in the first responder and emergency management professions.


During these exercises, CERT volunteers keep their skills up-to-date and learn new information from LA County Fire Department personnel. In such a crisis, it will be neighbors assisting neighbors until emergency response personnel can arrive.
Instead, volunteers are registered with their respective cities, unincorporated areas or local law enforcement agencies.
Having a centralized contact point makes it possible to communicate damage assessments and allocate volunteer resources more effectively. Acting as individuals first, then later as members of teams, trained CERT volunteers can fan out within their assigned areas, extinguishing small fires, turning off natural gas inlets to damaged homes, performing light search and rescue, and rendering basic medical treatment.
Janetske brought a number of his officers to assist in the training of Northwestern’s 15 volunteers and the five Evanston residents participating at the final exercise, which took place at the Evanston Recycling Center on Oakton Street. CERT is designed to improve readiness, help people and serve the community through education, training and volunteer service. Members of a CERT program are initially trained in basic disaster preparedness, fire suppression, medical operations, light search-and-rescue operations, disaster psychology and team organization, terrorism and other CERT program essentials. FEMA recognized the importance of the program and adopted and expanded the CERT program and materials to cover all hazards, from natural disasters to terrorist attacks.
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training provides residents with the skills and tools necessary to take care of themselves, their families, neighbors, and coworkers in the event of a disaster.


Through this training, residents learn about hazards that may impact their area as well as basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. In the event of an emergency, some volunteers become part of the disaster plan for local authorities. Trained volunteers also offer an important potential workforce to service organizations in nonhazardous functions such as shelter support, crowd control, and evacuation. Each volunteer earned a certificate from the Federal Emergency Management Institute and one from UP, as well. Upon completion of the course, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. Upon activation of an Emergency Operations Center, a city representative, a Fire Department liaison or law enforcement liaison will contact CERT volunteers and provide direction about how those volunteers will be utilized.



Hurricane natural disaster wikipedia
Prepare brochure online
Homeland security & emergency preparedness 7 day survival kit


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