A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a group that is organized and receives special training that enhances their ability to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against a major emergency or disaster situation. CERT is organized under the Washington County Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for services. When a major emergency overwhelms normally available resources, response delays of hours or even days may occur. Someone with "basic skills training" should be able to immediately assist those in distress. CERT recognizes that a well-prepared community is a vital resource.
Factors such as number of victims, communications failures, and blocked roads will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment's notice through 911. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs. One also expects that under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other.
Organizations can schedule a course by calling the Washington County Emergency Management Agency at (740) 373-5613.
During the course, citizens will be trained by CERT instructors to learn disaster preparedness, fire suppression, first aid, medical operations, light search and rescue, psychology, and team organization.
For additional information about CERT, visit the RSVP webpage.