Ten Complete First South Orange Emergency Team Training
Thursday, May 10, 2012 • 4:10pm
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The Community Emergency Response Team recently completed its first training cycle for South Orange community members.
Prior to becoming Village president, Alex Torpey reorganized the group that was originally formed 15 years ago.
“CERT’s primary objective is to increase the knowledge held by everyday citizens of what to do in case of crisis, disaster or any other emergency situation in which professional responders are not immediately available to help,” said Jeffrey Angel, co-manager for the local bureau of the program.
Angel explained that the training course is a 20-hour modular lesson given four Saturdays in a row, for five hours a day. The fifth and last session acted as a review and a practical that allowed the volunteers to put what they learned to the test with a mock disaster. Ten trainees completed the program.
“The CERT lessons cover topics such as disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medication operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, terrorism and the history of the CERT organization,” Angel said.
Angel added that to date, the program has not been deployed in South Orange because it’s still “very new,” but he explained that due to natural disasters, it is important to be prepared.
“Given the natural disasters that have occurred in the last 10 years, I think it’s important for normal, everyday citizens to have basic disaster preparedness skills that can be utilized should they ever need to be,” Angel said. “It also reinforces a sense of community that we have a group such as CERT available in our area should the need arise.”
According to Angel, it is important to join CERT because “it’s a minimal commitment to learn basic skills and knowledge to help yourself, your family and your community, in that order, should there be a situation where professional help is unable to get you.”
Angel said that CERT is open to the community at large, including Seton Hall students. Seton Hall has its own sector of the program but has been combining its training with South Orange’s CERT.
For future CERT training dates, visit http://southorange.org/CERT