Granby’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a group of volunteer residents, organized under Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines to help build capacity for local first emergency responders.
CERT programming offers a consistent, nationwide approach to training and certifying volunteers to be prepared to support natural disasters or other planned events. The purpose of a CERT is to act as a “force multiplier” in the event of a disaster. CERTs provide support while professional emergency responders focus on more dangerous, skilled, and critical assignments. CERTs typically engage in less skilled tasks like checking evacuated homes, reporting unsafe areas, crowd, or traffic control. CERT members also provide immediate assistance to victims and organize spontaneous volunteers at the site of the disaster.
CERT teams may collaborate with related disaster response teams and support public safety for planned events. You may have seen the Granby team supporting public safety at the Granby Road Race, Salmon Brook Park events, parades, sheltering operations, traffic control on election days, educational events at the town libraries, and public training events at the senior center.
During emergencies such as natural disasters or widespread power outages that block roads or overwhelm public safety services, the team is activated, and members gather to plan and support the need of the situation in a safe manner. Responsibilities may include, damage assessment, sheltering, triage and first aid, search and rescue, light fire suppression and assisting first responders. CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available. CERT members also support local and regional emergency response agencies by taking an active role in emergency preparedness projects within the community.
Granby CERT educates people and residents about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact the area through classroom training and during exercises. The Granby CERT Team meets on a regular basis for additional training and exercises. Team members undergo background checks, are issued protective gear and a jump kit of emergency supplies.
If you are interested in joining this team to support the community, new Team members undergo a training and certification process requiring one evening a week for two months in basic disaster response skills, such as emergency management incident command, emergency response team organization, fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations.
Interested individuals should contact Kyle Botteron, Emergency Management Director at email@example.com to learn how to join this team.