December 4, 2006
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their communities and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. The CERT education and exercise was designed to empower community members to assist others following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
Since 1996, Fairfax County’s CERT program has been administered by the county’s Fire and Rescue Department and consists of 26 hours of FEMA authorized training so that citizens can make decisions and act in the event of a disaster. While people will respond to others in need without the training, the primary goal of the CERT program is to help people do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.
The Fairfax County CERT program will have graduated students for 10 years on December 7, 2006 and in celebration, I would like the Board’s unanimous support in inviting members of the CERT community of trainers and volunteers to be recognized for their invaluable service to the community at the January 22, 2007 Board meeting.