Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
"The purpose of CERT is to provide citizens with the basic skills required to handle virtually all of their own needs and then to be able to respond to their community's needs in the aftermath of a disaster." said John Jones
"One of the most important functions of the CERT team during a disaster", Jones said, "will be managing and directing the untrained volunteers who arrive at a disaster scene and want to be of assistance. During the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, hundreds of thousands of volunteers appeared at disaster sites, police and fire departments, hospitals and Red Cross offices.
"While their help was needed," Jones said, " the trained emergency responders were needed to do the rescue work rather than to train those who wanted to help. The CERT team volunteers will help those untrained volunteers be productive while allowing the first responders to do their work."
Jones said the goal is to establish CERT teams in each of Michigan City's neighborhoods. "They'll be empowered to respond to disasters that affect their families and neighbors." he said. "We've received a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant to start these classes, and as additional funds are available, we'll develop more teams."
Lake County will be starting our CERT classes for the public soon. We are anticipating a good turn out for this program. We will be advertising in the local papers for class information. The classes will be limited to only 10 participants per class.
Robert D. Walker
Please contact our office for any questions at 219-755-3549.