Neighborhood Teams Will Expand CERT Program Throughout Long Beach
2012-10-25 · By Editor
The Long Beach Fire Department is expanding the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program by implementing neighborhood teams and adding refresher courses.
“In case of a major disaster, our residents will be need to be self-reliant while our first responders will be dealing with high priority emergencies,” Mayor Bob Foster said. “Expanding our already successful CERT program will enable teams of trained people to augment public safety officials, and to start providing immediate services in their own neighborhoods.”
Approximately 5,000 people have completed the 22-hour CERT training in Long Beach, learning how to assist their families, neighbors and colleagues in the event of a significant incident. CERT graduates also learn how to prepare for a major disaster, and to be self-sustainable for several days.
Now the Fire Department is implementing Neighborhood CERT teams across the city, to increase the program’s effectiveness. After a significant incident, public safety officials must prioritize their responses, and might be unable to reach some neighborhoods for several days. CERT teams would be able to serve as a force multiplier by going door-to-door, checking on residents, gathering and providing information, and providing some initial assistance.
Working with the CERT teams would have the additional benefit of improving ongoing communication between the Fire Department and CERT graduates.
As part of that outreach, the Fire Department is offering – and encouraging all CERT graduates to attend – two-hour, hands-on skill refresher sessions. The Fire Department also encourages community members to take the six-week, 22-hour CERT training.
For more information on upcoming courses, or to register for CERT training, visit www.longbeach.gov/cert or contact Will Nash, CERT coordinator, at Will.Nash@longbeach.gov.