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West Hartford Seeking Additional CERT Members, Training Planned for October

Members of West Hartford's CERT team held a drive-up distribution of N95 masks at the former St. Brigid School property at 100 Mayflower Street on Jan. 4, 2022. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

The next training session for West Hartford’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will begin on Oct. 22.

CERT members volunteer at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic held at Conard High School. Courtesy photo (we-ha.com file photo)

Submitted 

The West Hartford Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is looking for new members to attend its next Basic Training Class scheduled to begin on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022 from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Elmwood Community Center.

CERT training consists of a basic standardized 20-hour course followed by additional training in shelter management, first aid and disaster preparedness. Classes include emergency first aid, disaster psychology, animal sheltering, fire safety and terrorism, and more. There is no cost to participate.

Students are trained by professional responders in areas that will help them take care of themselves and others before, during and after a major emergency. CERT members will also take an on-line FEMA training course.

West Hartford’s Community Emergency Response Team is a group of local volunteers from different neighborhoods that receive special training to enhance their ability to recognize, respond to, and recover from a major emergency or disaster situation. As an organized team, individuals can provide vital services in the absence of, and while waiting for, the arrival of emergency responders.

To date the CERT team has contributed over 1,400 hours of volunteer time to the community. They have been assisting at COVID and flu vaccination clinics, Memorial Day and Park Road parades, N95 mask and test kit distributions, Celebrate! West Hartford festival, and the Food Pantry, among other events.

CERT members undergo CPR training. Courtesy photo (we-ha.com file photo)

The team is also trained to assist during town-wide emergencies. The team meets and trains monthly at the Elmwood Community Center. Team members volunteer as their availability and interest dictate. There is no minimum activity requirement and training is completely free. Students completing the class receive a CERT backpack with emergency equipment and a certificate of completion from Connecticut’s Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

To participate in the program, a person must be at least 18 years old and either live, work or go to school in West Hartford.

The team is an integral part of the Town of West Hartford Office of Emergency Management, which is under the direction of Fire Chief Greg Priest.

If interested in joining the team, please visit the Town of West Hartford’s CERT web page or click on this link for the CERT Application. For more information about the CERT program, you may email [email protected] or call the town’s CERT team coordinator Robert McCue at 860-561-8310.

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