The general public is always welcome to attend our regularly scheduled Monthly CERT Meeting, held the second Thursday of every month at 7 pm. The meeting is held in the first floor auditorium of the Executive Office Building, located at 101 Monroe Street, Rockville MD 20850. Unless otherwise noted; check the calendar page under the ‘EVENT’ tab for updates.
What is CERT?
The Community Emergency Response Training Program (aka CERT) educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, team organization and fire safety. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members learn to assist their family, their neighbors and their coworkers following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.
Why do we need CERT?
Following a major disaster, the first responders who we have come to rely upon to provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the entire community’s need for these services. Factors such as the number of victims, communication failures, or road blockages can prevent people from receiving emergency services they depend upon. People may have to rely on each other for help, in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs.
How Long Does CERT Training Last?
The initial CERT Training generally lasts for five weeks and equals 30 hours of instruction and hands on exercises. A typical schedule would be one weekday evening from 7-9 pm AND four hours on the weekend (for example 9am – 1pm on a Saturday, or 12:30pm – 4:30pm on a Sunday). Each session is unique in scheduling so please confirm the hours and your availability before committing to participate.
The topics currently covered within the 30 hours are: Disaster Preparedness, Damage Assessment, First Aid, CPR /AED, Triage, FRS Radio Use, Fire Safety / Fire Extinguisher Usage, Light Search and Rescue, Hazardous Materials Awareness, Incident Command System (NIMS), Pet Safety, Terrorism Awareness, and Mass Casualty Response. The final class is a practical hand’s on culmination of the training you’ve received.
Who Can Take This Training and What is the Cost?
CERT training is being made available throughout the United States. Montgomery County CERT caters to residents of the county who are at least 18 years of age. Exception can be made for people who work within Montgomery County boundaries. As of this writing, this valuable opportunity is being provided to residents at no cost other than a participant’s commitment and desire to learn.
When is The Next CERT Class?
The CERT Leadership and Instructors try to provide three trainings per year when possible. The next class being offered that has openings is scheduled to begin January 23 of 2013. All applicants are requested to make a good faith effort to attend every class; missed units must be made up before the Official FEMA Certificate of Completion is given.