Citizen Volunteers to Gather at CERT Fest

Morris County Emergency Management Office to offer training during event Saturday.

Morris County's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members will come together for training at the 2012 Morris County Emergency Management Cert Fest on Saturday.

The event will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy in Parsippany. During that time, training modules in wilderness search and rescue, fire safety, traffic safety and Salvation Army food canteen operations will be offered.

The CERT program allows citizen volunteers to train and be prepared for instances of natural disasters or terrorist attacks. CERT members assist victims and first respnders during emergency situations.

"We recognize the significant benefits of engaging citizen volunteers to assist us in our primary mission of providing for the safety and security of our communities. The program is based on teamwork, partnership and collaboration approach. We are very appreciative for the efforts of our municipal CERT coordinators who organized this event," Morris County Director of Law and Public Safety Scott Digiralamo said.

CERT members train for about 20 hours over the course of several weeks in topics such as disaster medical operations, emergency preparedness, disaster psychology, terrorism awareness, disaster simulation, light search and rescue operations, CERT operations and fire suppression. Training typically is offered in the communities in which the CERT members live.

More than 100 Morris County CERT members from Kinnelon, Parsippany, Jefferson Township, Morris Township, Chatham Borough, Denville, Roxbury, Long Hill Township, Washington Township, Chatham Township and East Hanover are expected to be in attendance at the event. Also in attendance will be representatives of the County Animal Response Team, Medical Reserves Corp., American Red Cross, Radio Amateur Civilian Emergency Service and New Jersey State Police Office of Emergency Management.

Anyone interested in becoming a CERT member in their own community can contact the Morris County Office of Emergency Management at (973) 829-8600.

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