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Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)


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#1 OldMarineVet

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 07:00 AM


Watching citizens being solicited to help in Houston. Wouldn't it be great if they were trained and prepared to help?

FYI, many municipalities train and prepare Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) for disasters. Police departments normally administer CERT programs with the help of firefighters/medics.

These First Responders can be spread very thin during disasters. It's probable CERT members will be onsite first. They will do their best to deal with emergencies until the First Responders arrive, including hazard assessments and prioritization. Proper training and teamwork are critical.

Disasters hit suddenly and unexpectedly. CERT members start with their families until secured, then their neighborhoods until secured, and then to their CERT community rally point.

The power of the community can be strong or weak. CERT and other community teamwork (like neighborhood watches) harkens back to the birth of our country. Many rural communities have always operated this way.

#2 RacerDave6

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:42 PM

CERT is a great program. I am a former CERT instructor with Will County EMA. Their program has trained hundreds of citizen responders, and many towns in the county have thriving teams.
If your interested in this contact your local village or your county EMA.
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#3 TRJ

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 05:41 PM

I've been signed up for taking classes in West Chicago for over a year, but they don't have enough interest from others to have the classes.
My interest is two fold...obviously to help locally is primary. Secondary is the CERT hardhat and vest can help get you through roadblocks in the beginning of a WROL scenario. If I can tell things (like civilization)going south I'm out and having the right uniform might help move things along.

#4 OldMarineVet

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 08:55 PM

I've been signed up for taking classes in West Chicago for over a year, but they don't have enough interest from others to have the classes.
My interest is two fold...obviously to help locally is primary. Secondary is the CERT hardhat and vest can help get you through roadblocks in the beginning of a WROL scenario. If I can tell things (like civilization)going south I'm out and having the right uniform might help move things along.

Check out Milton Township website (below)  See "CERT" on upper right side of menu. Over time they have taken over CERT training from other DuPage County Townships who have had trouble conducting the training.  I don't know about the power of the CERT hardhat and vest.

http://www.miltontownship.net/

Edited by OldMarineVet, 29 August 2017 - 06:48 AM.


#5 bmyers

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 06:37 AM

My wife and I have both taken the CERT class and passed. It is a good class that touches on lots of different areas that most people have little to no exposure to.



#6 Antney

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 02:43 PM

I have gone though the Carol Stream CERT program and it's a great program put on by some awesome people.  

 

It's good timing too because their next class is starting up at the beginning of October.  If anyone is interested in signing up and close enough to Carol Stream (it's open to both residents and non-residents), check it out 



#7 OldMarineVet

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 06:55 AM

Great to see other CERT members here. 

Did anybody see any action with last month's big storms in northern Illinois?  Nothing directly for my CERT. But I did help with some post-event activities which were new to me in other townships. Both were very well organized. Impressed.

#8 bmyers

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 07:43 AM

Nothing down state. Last activation in this area was spring storms and they needed the sand bagging machine.



#9 Antney

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 07:07 PM

Carol Stream reached out to members to assist Itasca with doing an IEMA damage assessment survey for a bunch of residents. Couldn’t take the time off work unfortunately so I couldn’t participate.

#10 Mr. Fife

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 07:27 PM

I did the whole CERT program back when it first became available in Illinois. I learned a lot of common sense skills and was loaded up with all of the duct tape and plastic sheeting any man would ever need. After being trained and never being called out, I ended up volunteering for several EMA teams between home and work. I could tell lots of interesting stories. I just never volunteered in Chicago because I heard you could be killed for volunteering for something that people would normally be paid to do.

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#11 OldMarineVet

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 06:44 AM

Carol Stream reached out to members to assist Itasca with doing an IEMA damage assessment survey for a bunch of residents. Couldn’t take the time off work unfortunately so I couldn’t participate.

Makes sense. The amount of damage in Itasca was surprising. It was some sort of microburst essentially localized in Itasca. While many trees were uprooted, there were large pieces of trees just sheered off. Lots of house damage starting with roofs.

#12 OldMarineVet

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 07:43 AM

I did the whole CERT program back when it first became available in Illinois. I learned a lot of common sense skills and was loaded up with all of the duct tape and plastic sheeting any man would ever need. After being trained and never being called out, I ended up volunteering for several EMA teams between home and work. I could tell lots of interesting stories. I just never volunteered in Chicago because I heard you could be killed for volunteering for something that people would normally be paid to do.

Hmm. Normally the problem in a disaster is too much "work" and not enough people. That's the reason for CERT...to do their best with their training in areas the "professionals" can't get to right away. But in a disaster CERT's are spread too thin also. So there's no shortage of "work."

The only cases of heard like that was with some professional tree cutters. During disasters, downed trees crossing streets keep emergency vehicles out. Over time some CERT's got some members certified with chainsaws and pitched in. There was some grumbling from companies that employed tree cutters but no violence that I heard of. I think certified CERT's cutting trees is more accepted now.

Yeah, I know what you mean about being trained, ready, and then nowhere to go. Reminds me of keeping alert during guard duty. Not easy.

Edited by OldMarineVet, 31 August 2017 - 07:44 AM.


#13 brianj - now in Kansas

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 11:31 AM

Mrs. J was in the Bolingbrook EMA before we moved.  I would have been there as well had we not needed someone to stay with Kid J.  Now that Kid J. is old enough to self-supervise to a certain extent (and other circumstances have changed as well), both Mrs. J and I should be able to get signed up here locally somewhere.  Now all we need to do is find where the local EMA\CERT is.


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#14 Ranger

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:16 PM

Good idea to check with local Emergency Management Agency or Emergency Services Disaster Agency (whichever they are called).  Some health departments do the CERT training.  Some health departments also have MRC (Medical Reserve Corps) training / volunteers.  With all the budget cuts and increased demands over the past decade, many local health departments are struggling and will not be able to conduct an effective response to a big event without volunteers that have been screened and trained in advance.

 

One of the big challenges in keeping a viable CERT or MRC group going is the lack of activity that keeps people engaged & reinforces the training.






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