Emergency preparedness classes start in March for the town of Clifton Park’s Community Emergency Response Team, a federally certified program that provides emergency preparedness and response training for local residents and future volunteers. Based on the premise that all emergencies “Start local and end local,” the Town of Clifton Park encourages residents to participate in this volunteer program.
The training prepares residents to better cope with and manage emergencies and disasters by becoming familiar with the operations and functions of local emergency services and the many roles residents can fill in a variety of emergency situations.
Classes will be held every Thursday, March 21 through May 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Clifton Park’s Public Safety Building on Route 146 near Citizens Bank. The CERT program does not require any prior disaster training, nor will it demand much time on the part of participants. The program is designed to be fun and informative.
The trainings are not physically demanding and are a combination of classroom and practical exercises. Residents age 16 and over are encouraged to attend. Upon completion of the course, enrollees will receive a CERT completion certificate, emergency kit and t-shirt.
CERT Volunteers regularly assist at town-sponsored events and become engaged in the community. Some 33 trained CERT volunteers donated hundreds of hours of their time in the aftermath of the 2008 ice storm that left thousands of local residents without power. For example, volunteers staffed an emergency shelter, powered and maintained generators for traffic signals at crucial town intersections and reached out to special needs residents participating in the town’s R.U.OK? program.
CERT Volunteers were also an important part of the town’s relief efforts during and in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011.
The training covers disaster preparedness and response, light search and rescue, first aid and medical operations, CPR and AED use, fire safety, disaster psychology and terrorism threats. The training sessions end with a final table-top exercise based on a local emergency scenario. To register or for information, call Clifton Park’s Office of Community Development at 371-6651 ext. 230 or e-mail email@example.com.