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MCC Daily Tribune Archive

Why Get Involved With CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)?

Empowering. Informative. Beneficial. Fun. These are some of the words members use to explain what drew them to CERT.

I am pleased to announce the following members of our College community graduated from the 21st CERT class on Wednesday, Nov. 17:

Carol A. Battles
Roxanne Cimo
Robert Lasch
Laura Penman
Darwin Snow     
Henry Sutton Jr.
Sandy Warren
Hency Yuen-Eng

As a nationwide program, CERT attracts members with diverse backgrounds, interests, and training. MCC’s Homeland Security Management Institute (HSMI) has offered CERT training at the Public Safety Training Facility on Scottsville Road since 2004 and has trained over 600 CERT members in our community. HSMI has conducted training to a very diverse group including members of the deaf and hard of hearing community and a class at the Center for Disability Rights. The areas covered in the CERT program are: disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue operations, CERT organization, disaster psychology, terrorism and CERT, and a disaster scenario simulation.

Joining for a Reason

First and foremost, all of the CERT members we spoke to came to the program because of a desire to protect themselves and their community in the event of a disaster. Disasters can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time. All disasters are local and you need to be prepared to protect your family, neighborhood and community.

How MCC CERT Stays Active

One of the most popular and beneficial ways members choose to stay active in their CERT is to take additional training. At the very least, all MCC members have taken a basic First Aid and CPR class and recommend that all CERT members do the same. The type of CERT supplemental training varies according to community need. For example, MCC CERT has had training in radiological disasters and how to read a Geiger counter in case of a Ginna Nuclear Power Plant disaster. Mock disaster simulations and drills prepare CERTs for the real thing. The real thing — CERT activation to respond to an actual emergency — may be the single best way to ensure an active CERT, though no one wants them to happen regularly. MCC CERT members train with our Public Safety Office and are activated as needed to assist with emergencies.

Spreading the Message

Our CERT members consider it part of their role to share their knowledge and experience with others in our MCC community. This means talking about what CERT does, recruiting new members, and educating community members on disaster preparedness skills. CERT members join to be of service to others and themselves. They seek out ways to keep members active. They let others know the importance of being ready. And they stay for the lessons learned, the people they meet, and the opportunity to help their communities.

Please congratulate our newest CERT graduates when you see them. If you are interested in becoming part of MCC CERT please send me an email <> and I will let you know when the next CERT training opportunity is available.

Stephen Palmer