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The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
Walpole CERT program continues to grow under the leadership of John Lightbody. The Fire Department has provided secure storage space and the CERT team is building shelves, moving, organizing and inventorying EMA and CERT equipment. We are all very appreciative of an anonymous donor of a used utility type truck and the donation of body work, painting and lettering by another anonymous donor. This vehicle will be used by the CERT team and Public Safety.
The CERT team holds regular monthly and sometimes by-monthly meeting/training/work sessions. John has conducted training sessions in Shelter Management, Shelter Cot setup, Shelter forms, Communications, Fire Extinguisher operation and field exercise. CERT members assisted in the setup and operations during the yearly MEMA Region Hurricane Communication Drill. Members of EMA, CERT and MRC worked together to form the Shelter and Warming Center operation team and assisted at the communication Center during Tropical Storm Irene and the October Halloween Snow Storm.
Members of Walpole EMA and CERT assisted Walpole Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and Walpole Health Department (WHD) during the Flu Clinics held at the Walpole High School Cafeteria and at the Town Hall. Most of the EMA, CERT and MRC members have two or more affiliations. The team’s primary activity was to assist with setup and takedown, monitor entrance, hallway and cafeteria flow, communications, first aid station and to provide extra eyes and ears throughout the clinic.