The Fairfield Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) is offering free disaster training beginning Saturday, February 24, 2018. This annual training prepares people to help themselves and their community in the event of a major emergency or disaster.
Attendees are trained in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, disaster psychology, disaster medical operations as well as shelter operations. The CT Division of Emergency Management, Homeland Security, and FEMA developed the training and upon completion of the course, participants are eligible, and invited to join the Fairfield C.E.R.T. Team.
The C.E.R.T. team mission is to assist first responders during emergencies and disasters under the direction of the Fairfield Fire Chief who is the Town’s Emergency Management Director. “We know disasters can happen at any time, and take different forms – hurricanes, blizzards, flooding, shootings, chemical spills—and that the key to a rapid response is having trained personnel available to help. Our trained C.E.R.T. volunteers play a vital role and multiply our manpower capabilities during a crisis,” said Deputy Fire Chief Kyran Dunn, Fairfield Emergency Management C.E.R.T. Coordinator.
The C.E.R.T. training begins February 24th, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and runs for five consecutive Saturdays ending March 24th. Classes are held at the Fairfield Regional Fire School Classroom, 205 Richard White Way, Fairfield (off Reef Road). Attendance at all classes is required. The training is free and open to those 18 and older.
Register online at www.fairfieldct.org/CERT. For more information, please contact Norma Peterson, Fairfield C.E.R.T. liaison at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Fairfield Fire Department at (203) 254-4720.
During Super Storm Sandy, Fairfield C.E.R.T. played a major role in managing and operating the municipal shelter at Fairfield Ludlowe High School and that continues to be a major part of the mission and training for the team. Another area of activity has been traffic and pedestrian control for events in town, including the Fairfield Half-Marathon and the Fourth of July Celebration, as well as providing mutual aid to other towns as needed. These deployments assist in keeping the team members trained should they be needed to provide those support services during a major disaster while the professional responders are occupied in other critical areas.
C.E.R.T. is part of a federal initiative that was established after September 11, 2001 to promote citizen emergency preparedness. Citizen Corps groups were established throughout the country and C.E.R.T. is one of the partner programs of this Citizen Corps initiative. The Fairfield C.E.R.T. team is one of 2,700 teams nationwide and has 90 trained volunteers.