CRUMPTON — In a disaster when emergency personnel could be delayed, CERT members become the first to respond. Community members throughout Queen Anne’s County want to help and do the most good in a disaster situation.
“However, sometimes, due to lack of training, the helping has the potential to do more harm than good. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training resolves this problem by giving you the knowledge and tools to successfully respond when it is most needed,” said Joseph Cichocki, who heads the Queen Anne’s County Emergency Services’ efforts to create a strong base of educated and ready volunteers.
CERT training educates volunteers on disaster preparedness and basic disaster response skills, and CERT members are taught based on nationally recognized guidelines and the material is adapted to conform to the hazards that could be faced within Queen Anne’s County. Teaching basic response skills ranging from fire safety, light search and rescue, to disaster psychology and how people typically react when disasters strike — the CERT training is spread out over eight days and is taught for two to three hours each day, usually in the evening.
Once the CERT training has been completed, members are given a backpack with the basic tools necessary to respond in a disaster. CERT members also have the opportunity to volunteer during numerous planned events throughout the year.