Community Emergency Response Team
What Is CERT?
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a concept developed in 1985 by the Los Angeles Fire Department. They recognized that citizens would very likely be on their own during the early stages of a disaster.
The events of September 11, 2001, will never be forgotten. Also not forgotten is how the spirit of America was awakened that day and citizens came forth to volunteer their services. Hurricane Katrina further taught us communities must learn how to stand on their own and not rely entirely on federal or state aid in the beginning phases of a major emergency. The December 2008 ice storm that affected so many Massachusetts towns gave other examples of ways communities need help, as the many shelters needed trained staff and personnel.
Emergency preparedness starts at the personal and community level. Lincoln is establishing its CERT under the supervision of the Lincoln Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and it reports to the Emergency Management Director (EMD) Fire Chief Arthur Cotoni. Simply stated, its mission will be to educate the community on emergency preparedness and, upon direction from the EMD, deploy trained teams of volunteers to assist first responders during a major emergency.
How Can You Join?
To become a CERT member, you must be at least 18 years of age. If you would like to volunteer your services and become trained to prepare yourself, your family, and help your neighbors and community during natural or man-made disasters, you can start by filling out the CERT Application
How Can You Help?
Businesses or organizations can help Lincoln CERT fulfill its mission for promoting community emergency preparedness and enabling deployable volunteer CERT teams in a major emergency by financial, in-kind, and/or organizational support.
Volunteers from all walks of life can become fully certified CERT members through an official 20-hour training course. Certified and noncertified members receive other ongoing training and can help in many ways in CERT activities and community preparedness events. Full certification classes are taught by firefighters, EMTs, and law enforcement personnel. The current course for full certification includes the following:
Intro to Disaster
This will introduce you to disasters specific to the area and the impacts of disaster on infrastructure
Disaster Fire Suppression
Identifying and reducing potential fire hazards and basic fire suppression (extinguishers)
Disaster Medical Operations, Part 1
Treatment strategies for life threatening conditions and principles of triage
Disaster Medical Operations, Part 2
Hand-to-toe assessment and treatment for various injuries
Light Search and Rescue Operations
Techniques for sizing up and searching for and removing victims - rescue safety
Disaster Psychology & Team Organization
The post-disaster emotional environment is discussed - CERT organization, decision making, and documentation
A brief overview of terrorism weapons, identification of targets, and discussion of time, distance, and shielding (for radiation)
Disaster simulation realistic to our community