The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management today supplied Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) in four municipalities with specialized Disaster Response Utility Trailers. The trailers will enhance the communities’ emergency response capabilities during times of crisis.
The New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit is also receiving a specially-equipped trailer to support child abduction and missing person searches and investigations. The new initiative pairs the expertise of the professional missing persons investigators with CERT manpower to support search efforts with trained and equipped volunteers.
“New Jersey is proud to be home to one of the nation’s largest CERT programs — 23,000 volunteers organized into 250 teams,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, State Police Superintendent and Director of the NJ Office of Emergency Management. “The program is robust because of citizen engagement and neighbor helping neighbor, a New Jersey tradition. We will continue to support our volunteers’ efforts by equipping them with resources, such as the Response Utility Trailers. Four communities are receiving equipment today, but it is also a time to thank and recognize all CERT volunteers who serve others selflessly during adverse conditions.”
The following communities received Disaster Response Utility Trailers:
· West Orange Township – Essex County
· Lakewood Township – Ocean County
· Aberdeen Township/Matawan Borough (joint team) – Monmouth County
· Little Ferry Borough – Bergen County
The Disaster Response Utility Trailers are worth $7,650.00 each. Each trailer is equipped with a generator, basic medical supplies, lighting equipment, tools, tents and evacuation support equipment.
The trailers are funded by the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Today’s deployment brings the total number of CERT Utility Trailers allocated by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management to 112.
The New Jersey Citizen Corps is a volunteer program directed by NJOEM. It includes the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service and Fire Corps. New Jersey Citizen Corps and New Jersey CERT are one of the largest programs of their kind in the nation.
Citizen Corps volunteers are ordinary citizens who supplement and support their area’s first responders. The volunteers undergo basic emergency management training including fire suppression, first aid and triage, search and rescue and disaster psychology.
New Jersey CERT volunteers have taken a leadership role in helping their neighbors; staffing emergency operations centers and evacuee shelters; directing the activities of other volunteers; and searching for missing children. New Jersey CERT and Medical Reserve Corps volunteers worked nearly 10,000 hours in response to Superstorm Sandy.
Citizen Corps volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Anyone can participate, regardless of their level of physical ability. Those interested should call
(609) 963-6995 and speak with Howard Butt, the New Jersey Citizen Corps Coordinator. CERT information can also be found at www.ready.nj.gov.
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