CERT helping Florida responders prepare
| 05.21.2007 | 08:46:51 | Views: 2994 | ID:
May 21 '07: Community Emergency Response Teams have been forming in the Manatee area in Florida to prepare for the summer heat, fire season and hurricane season, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune report via LexisNexis. Art Wessan, a CERT volunteer in University Park told the paper the members of his community "are the firs responders in the event of a cataclysmic event that has 911 overwhelmed like a (Hurricane) Katrina situation."
The CERT volunteers receive 22 hours of training from the American Red Cross while in East Manatee, firefighters trained residents "in light rescue operations, such as checking a house for a gas leak before entering to evacuate people."Many community residents in Florida are more aware of their role in disaster response, especially as the state finds itself in a severe drought causing massive wildfires and lowering water tables. Meanwhile in Lakewood Ranch, Joan Robbins, a CERT volunteer told the Herald that it was essential her community stay prepared because "We are a very large community and had [sic] no centralized emergency preparedness plan at all. ... We are hoping we will never have such a situation, but felt people needed individual training for themselves and their own families even in the absence of a major disaster."
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