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First CERT Members Graduate

Greenwich Community Emergency Response Team Class of 2014

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Greenwich, CT | Added on March 05, 2014 At 09:42 PM

Community members in Greenwich are now CERT certified.

Captain Robert Berry, Patrol Division Commander at the Greenwich Police Department said, "CERT is the Community Emergency Response Team. It's a nation wide program that was started by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) also the Department of Homeland Security and currently administered by the State of Connecticut. 

48 volunteers took the oath at the Greenwich Police Department Wednesday night, becoming the Town's first CERT members.

"The professional firefighters, the EMS, the police department, we can't get to everyone immediately. So the intent is that these citizens that have some training and some basic equipment, they can assist their fellow neighbors until other rescuers can come to their assistance," said Capt. Berry.

With basic training and materials, members will be able to assist emergency personal during an emergency from looking out for one's neighbor to help with pet sheltering.

Chief of Police Jim Heavey said, "Because you have this basic training that your neighbors don't have, you will be able to help your neighbors and make them aware of things when storms come up," said Capt. Berry.

Members say being a apart of the program is another way they can give back to their community.

CERT member Ed Heflan said, "As a Boy Scout would say, be prepared. You can never be too prepared."

"I took the CPA course and loved it so much that I wanted to continue on. It's wonderful to learn about your community and to be involved and I just wanted to get involved and do things," said Janice, a new CERT member.

CERT member Paul Chiapetta said, "We can pass stuff of to our neighbors and say you know this is dangerous, this is safe. We can advise them as we go and we can be a big help when it comes to sheltering and helping out in the community keeping everybody safe."

"I took the Citizen's Police Academy here and loved it and I wanted to further it. I've been a volunteer at the local fire deparment for many years and it's just an interest and I love helping people," said Denise Hawkings, a new CERT member. 

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