Local government prepares for everyday emergencies. However, during a disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency services. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation.
CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens may initially be on their own and their actions can make a difference. While people will respond to others in need without the training, one goal of the CERT program is to help them do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger. In the CERT training, citizens learn to:
- Manage utilities and put out small fires
- Treat the three medical killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock
- Provide basic medical aid
- Search for and rescue victims safely
- Organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective
- Collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts
WHY DO THE CERT TRAINING?
Well, it's like paying for car insurance. You might never need insurance or CERT and you would hope not to use it. But if the occasion arises, having the CERT training, just like having car insurance, means you're as ready as you can be to help yourself, your family and your neighborhood.
HOW DO I JOIN?
CERT members receive 20 hours of initial training. The training can be broken down into a number of time blocks depending on availability and that of other volunteers. We may offer it a few nights spread out over a couple of weeks, a weekend, or a combination of both. We try to schedule CERT so that there are opportunities to make up missed modules. In particular, we like to hold it multiple times throughout the year, and it is important for us to know what time of the year is best for you.
The training is followed by drills, exercises, and many opportunities to assist the Nashua Emergency Management at local incidents. CERT is provided free of charge in the Greater Nashua area. If you are interested in attending, you can fill out an online form to notify us that you are interested in getting involved with Nashua Emergency Management and attending CERT. We will contact you to register you for an upcoming class. You can also find out about upcoming classes on www.nashuanh.gov/emvolunteer. If you miss a class, you can go to any other location to make it up. The registration form for CERT can be found here: CERT Registration Form
You can also organize a class for your neighborhood, business, or community group. You need a minimum of 20 people to be trained and a location to hold the training. Call the Nashua Office of Emergency Management at 603-589-3260 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your class.
ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES BEYOND CERT?
Everyone has a skill that we need before, during, and after disaster. While CERT provides some basic disaster preparedness skills, many are interested in volunteering beyond. We are looking for volunteers that are everything from certified doctors/nurses/paramedics to licensed pilots and engineers. Additionally, volunteers with useful skills in everything from Information Technology (IT) systems to traffic control to handling hazardous materials and dealing with animals are also needed. If we can’t find a use for you with our program, we can direct you to a volunteer group that can use your skills.
Volunteers can be of all shapes and sizes, with no limitation on disabilities or age. We can use volunteers that want to provide services from their own home, provide services at a shelter, help out in our Emergency Operations Center, among other opportunities. It’s a great opportunity for those that are retired or college students looking for job experience. If you are not interested in being involved during the disaster, we can use your skills to help the City prepare BEFORE the disaster. If you would are interested in volunteering with Nashua Emergency Management, please fill out the CERT Registration Form (same form that is above) and select “CERT Training and Volunteering” from the last question in the “Training” section of the form.
WHAT CAN I BE TRAINED IN?
As we continue to build our volunteer program, we are looking at offering additional classes like SKYWARN, amateur radio, damage assessment, and CPR/AED training. These training opportunities will be offered to Nashua volunteers on a first come, first served basis.