Information about the Community Emergency Response Team
CERT is a community oriented program directed at Cass County residents wanting to help serve in the event of a county emergency. If you are interested in joining CERT please read through this article and then download an application (available at the bottom) and return it to Cass County Sheriff's Office. For questions or additional CERT registration information, contact Patti Kolden at the Cass County Sheriff’s Office by dialing 269-445-1299 and leave a message.
What is CERT?
CERT is a training program that prepares you to help yourself, your family, and your neighbors in the event of a disaster. During an incident, emergency service personnel may not be able to reach everyone immediately. By getting trained in CERT, you will have the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property.
What do CERT teams do in an emergency?
Under the direction of local emergency responders, CERT teams help provide critical support by giving immediate assistance to victims, providing damage assessment information, and organizing other volunteers at a disaster site. Volunteers trained in CERT also perform duties such as shelter support, crowd control, and evacuation. The role of a CERT volunteer is to help others until trained emergency personnel respond.
How does CERT help the community?
In addition to supporting emergency responders during a disaster, the CERT program builds strong working relationships between emergency responders and the people they serve. CERT teams also help the community year-round by helping with community emergency plans, neighborhood exercises, preparedness outreach, fire safety education, and workplace safety.
What are the benefits of CERT training?
Participants learn how to:
Ø Identify and anticipate hazards
Ø Reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace
Ø Extinguish small fires
Ø Assist emergency responders
Ø Conduct light search and rescue
Ø Set up medical treatment areas
Ø Apply basic medical techniques
Ø Help reduce survivor stress
Who should take CERT training?
Ø People interested in taking an active role in hometown preparedness
Ø Neighborhood Watch groups
Ø Community leaders
Ø Communities of faith
Ø Scouting and youth organizations
Ø Students, teachers, and administrators
Ø Members of clubs and civic organizations
In 95 percent of all emergencies, the victim or bystander provides the first immediate assistance on the scene. Would you know what to do? CERT training takes about 20 hours to complete and provides critical skills in emergency preparedness and response.