Beginning January 7, the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) will be hosting its month-long Training Academy Class for residents interested in becoming a member of the City’s volunteer corps, the Chicago Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The training is still open to interested participants. Pre-registration is not required – participants can enroll at the beginning of class on January 7.
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.
“Our CERT volunteers lend their time and support to the City’s emergency management efforts throughout the year,” said OEMC Executive Director Rich Guidice. “It’s a big help to our first responders when CERT team members serve 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.
““I encourage residents who are interested in joining the CERT team to learn more and get involved,” said Molly Murray, Chicago CERT Deputy Director. “Assisting public safety professionals, residents and visitors throughout the year is very rewarding,”
Anyone interested in becoming a CERT volunteer can call 312-746-9235 or email contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about upcoming training opportunities and program requirements.
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