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Community Emergency Response Team


NYSEMO Version 1.0 Sept. 2003. Why CERT? ... NYSEMO Version 1.0 Sept. 2003. What can government do to prepare citizens for this eventuality? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Community Emergency Response Team

  • Community Emergency Response Team
  • CERT
  • Executive Briefing

Why CERT???
  • Following a major disaster, first responders who
    provide fire and medical services will not be
    able to meet the demand for these services.
  • 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

Why CERT???
  • People will have to rely on each other for help
    in order to meet their immediate life saving and
    life sustaining needs.
  • Under these conditions, family members, fellow
    employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try
    to help each other.

The Need to be Ready
In 95 of all emergencies, bystanders or victims
themselves are the first to provide emergency
assistance or to perform a rescue
Los Angeles Fire Department
Case in Point
  • Mexico City earthquake
  • Untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800
  • However, 100 people lost their lives while
    attempting to save others.
  • This is a high price to pay and is preventable
    through training.

What can government do to prepare citizens for
this eventuality?
  • First, present citizens the facts about what to
    expect following a major disaster in terms of
    immediate services.
  • Second, give the message about their
    responsibility for mitigation and preparedness.

What can government do to prepare citizens for
this eventuality?
  • Third, train them in needed life saving skills
    with emphasis on decision making skills, rescuer
    safety, and doing the greatest good for the
    greatest number.
  • Fourth, organize teams so that they are an
    extension of first responder services offering
    immediate help to victims until professional
    services arrive.

CERT History
  • Los Angeles Fire Department 1985
  • Emergency response overloaded citizens on their
  • Basic training survival, rescue
  • Civilians helping neighbors until other
    assistance arrives
  • FEMA adopted promotes concept
  • President Bushs creation of Citizen Corps

What does CERT do? Individual Preparedness
  • Furthers the process of citizens understanding
    their responsibility in preparing for disaster.
  • Increases their ability to safely help
    themselves, their family and their neighbors.
  • Individuals will be better prepared to respond to
    and cope with the aftermath of a disaster.

What does CERT do?Community Preparedness
  • Civilians can be recruited and trained as
    neighborhood and business teams that, in essence,
    will be auxiliary responders.
  • Benefits of CERT

Benefits of CERT
  • Trained, organized volunteers
  • Support to first responders
  • Provide immediate assistance to victims
  • Organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster
  • Collect disaster intelligence to support first
    responder efforts

What CERT is
  • 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.

Link with Professional Responders
  • Coordination with local Citizens Corps Councils
    and local emergency services are essential to
    CERT success

Course Overview
  • The scope of the course includes
  • Fire safety.
  • Emergency medical operations.
  • Light search and rescue.
  • CERT organization.
  • Disaster psychology.
  • CERTs and terrorism.

Community Delivery
  • The CERT training for community groups is usually
    delivered in 2 1/2 hour sessions, one evening a
    week over a 7 week period.
  • After these weekly sessions, the program
    culminates into a large group exercise.
  • Multi-agency, multi-discipline instructors.

CERT Liability
  • 1 Consult with your legal counsel
  • Limit exposure and liability
  • Consent, waiver forms for participants
  • Adhere to established training and curriculum
  • Ensure that participants understand their scope
    of practice

Laws that Protect Volunteers
  • CERTs are considered "Good Samaritans" and
    covered under the Volunteer Protection Act.
  • CERT volunteers do not have any authority beyond
    serving as "Good Samaritan" when helping others.

Laws that Protect Volunteers
  • NYS Defense Emergency Act
  • NYS Executive Law Article 2B

CERT Funding
  • A variety of local approaches to obtaining funds.
  • Some communities build costs into their budget
    while others charge participants to cover costs
    for instructors and course materials.
  • In some communities, CERT organizations have
    filed for 501(C)3 (non-profit organization)
    status, thus allowing them to do fund raising.
  • Grants to communities.

Program Responsibilities
  • State responsibilities
  • T-t-T courses
  • Curriculum coordination
  • Local responsibilities
  • Course delivery
  • Materials and equipment costs
  • Team/program management