April 11, 2019

CITY OF CHICAGO CELEBRATES SERVICE, DEDICATION OF EMERGENCY RESPONSE VOLUNTEERS WHO PROVIDE VALUABLE SUPPORT TO PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENTS DURING NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK

In recognition of the National Volunteer Week theme, “Celebrate Service”, the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) acknowledges the dedication and commitment of its volunteer corps, the Chicago Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Under OEMC, CERT volunteers are educated about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact the city and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. As a result, Chicago’s capabilities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters is enhanced.

“National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to thank CERT volunteers who lend their time and support to the City’s emergency management efforts throughout the year,” said OEMC Executive Director Rich Guidice. “Our first responders can rely on CERT team members as force-multipliers during planned special events and disaster situations, which allows them to focus on more complex tasks.”

While other programs exist around the country, Chicago’s CERT team is unique in that its volunteer activations support three public safety departments: OEMC and the Chicago Police and Chicago Fire Departments.

Chicago currently boasts 213 active CERT volunteers. In 2018, Chicago CERT team members deployed 149 times, for a total of 9,000 hours, in support of the City’s emergency management efforts around large-scale special events, parades and severe weather.

Anyone interested in becoming a CERT volunteer can contact chicagocitizencorps@cityofchicago.org or call 312-746-9235 to learn more about upcoming training opportunities and program requirements.

National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and honors the impact of all those who do good in communities across the U.S.
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