Bob Brown, EMA Director, announced that the Wabash County Emergency Management Agency will be offering an emergency preparedness outreach opportunity for Wabash County residents. The program is known as Community Emergency Response Team or CERT. Training will start Nov. 5, at 6 p.m. at the Wabash Christian Church located at the corner of Miami and Hill Streets. Local volunteers from the community will form this new team that addresses emergency preparedness and disaster response in Wabash County. Current CERT members should plan to attend for refresher training. The class size will be limited to 22 adults.
Natural disasters such as severe weather, tornados, floods, winter storms happen throughout the year. Wabash county residents have experienced these weather related emergencies including an F1 Tornado that impacted the north side of the City of Wabash in October 2010 causing thousands of dollars in property damage.
Emergency events and full-scale disasters can deplete existing emergency response personnel quickly. CERT members can help to restore order to damaged areas and lend aid to affected residents of the area.
The Wabash County CERT training is being offered to county residents so that they can assist in their neighborhoods as well as throughout Wabash County when needed.
The CERT training provides county residents with basic skills required to handle their own needs and then respond to the needs of their neighbors in time of disaster. CERT members normally deploy in their neighborhoods and then where needed within the county until professional emergency responders have arrived.
CERT members may be managing and directing untrained volunteers who arrive at a disaster scene offering assistance. The CERT concept is designed to have trained volunteers available to assist other professional emergency responders.
After the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York, hundreds of thousands of volunteers appeared at disaster sites, police and fire departments and Red Cross offices. Volunteers with willing hands are always needed and can be useful, but emergency responders need to do their work rather than train those who want to help.
The CERT team can help the untrained volunteers be productive while allowing the emergency responders to do their jobs.
When emergencies occur, CERT members can give support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency events that help improve the safety of their communities such as, local festivals, fairs, parades and charity events throughout Wabash County.
CERT members receive a backpack with basic first aid supplies and other tools needed to perform their duties. Meeting will be Nov. 5,7,12,14, and 16. Training sessions are about 3 hours in length. You would need to attend all the training sessions.
Who can be a CERT member? Anyone can apply for the team. Basic requirements include: valid Indiana Driver’s license, resident of Wabash County or the cities and towns within the county boundaries. Must be 18 years of age. Retirees are welcome. No criminal record. Be willing to attend and complete the initial training program and periodic refresher training. You may apply or request more information by phone at 260-563-3181or toll free 1-866-288-3881 (between 8-4 p.m. Monday-Friday or email --- firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact the EMA office prior to Nov. 1, to enroll for the class.