Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors as number of victims, communication failures, and road blockages 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. That is where the training provided thorough Tamarac Emergency Management comes into action.
The Tamarac Fire Rescue’s Emergency Management division offers the training program over 4 days (2 Friday evenings and 2 Saturdays); this allows for a quick completion of the program and prevents absences in most cases preventing a non certification. Following graduation members will receive an equipment bag and a CERT uniform shirt, so they are able to participate in all activities offered through the program. For more information about the government wide CERT program, please visit FEMA's CitizenCorps CERT website.
Who are CERT members?
CERT members are a group of residents that share the same concerns as one another, that being “what will happen after a major event in our community” the answer in short is a group of individuals respond to the needs of their community these members are like minded and take this program and prepare to serve their community following such incidents as Hurricane, Tornado, Flooding and black outs. These members quickly become part of the first responder community and for many become part of the bigger picture in the community. And these are the people who are there when the 9-1-1 system is in undated and cannot get to the people as seen on an average day in our communities across the nation.
CERT members get involved in so much more following their introductory program. Being involved in City events, such as, the Turkey Trot, Fourth of July fireworks show, and so much more! The City of Tamarac CERT members uniform has become part of the landscape at many City activities. CERT members become the messengers in their communities passing along the messages we push out through Fire Rescue regarding preparedness and other important information for residents to know. Furthermore, many opportunities have opened up to our extremely active group marching in the 2011 and 2012 St. Patrick’s day parade as the only CERT Team ever to do so. Our members also participated at the 2011 and 2012 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat show, as well as, the 2012 Air Show on Ft. Lauderdale Beach with some 450,000 in attendance. Most recently our CERT members represented the City at the 2012 Relay for Life event to support a cure for cancer.
CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference. Through training, citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims safely; and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.
If you are interested in participating in this exciting and exhilarating program please contact the City of Tamarac's CERT program manager Van Schoen at (954) 597-3805.