Neighbors Helping Neighbors
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Chesterfield County’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is based on the American tradition of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors Prepare for Emergencies.” CERT training prepares citizens and communities to take a more active role in the County’s emergency preparedness efforts. After training, CERT Volunteers also can become part of neighborhood and/or workplace response teams.
CERT training provides basic emergency skills needed immediately following a major disaster, when emergency services may not be available and when residents may have to rely on each other for life-saving and life-sustaining needs. CERT volunteers learn how to provide help for family and neighbors in emergency situations – whether caused by terrorism, technological disasters or severe weather. Instruction centers on disaster preparedness and response, fire safety, first aid, search and rescue techniques, and terrorism preparedness. CERT training courses are free and are scheduled throughout the year.
More than 900 people have completed initial CERT training. These volunteers receive refresher training and help the community year-around by assisting with preparedness outreach, disaster exercises, and rapid damage assessment.
Chesterfield County’s CERT program is sponsored by the Chesterfield Emergency Planning Committee. Support and direction are provided by Chesterfield Fire and EMS through the Office of Emergency Management. CERT works closely with other volunteer programs such as the Chesterfield Medical Reserve Corps and Chesterfield Neighborhood Watch.
Additional information is available by e-mail from Chesterfield CERT Program Coordinator Sherri Laffoon at CERT@chesterfield.gov or by calling 804-751-CERT.