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Friday, March 7, 2014

CERT Volunteer opportunity (Citizen Emergency Response Team)

April is National Volunteer Month!  It’s just around the corner!
Deadline for next training class is March 21
From the Southern Rhode Island Volunteers

Do you feel like you wish you could do something to help when disaster strikes for family, neighbors and our community?  We are offering you an opportunity to step up, get involved, and learn new skills or update and use old ones. 

Southern Rhode Island Volunteers is recruiting volunteer members to join its regional CERT team serving the northern area of Washington County, including South Kingstown, Narragansett and North Kingstown. 

This CERT team assists first responders and the community in times of emergencies and/or disasters by taking responsibility for staffing the area’s regional shelter and local shelters for smaller events, setting up and providing direction at MEDS medical distribution PODS (flu clinics) and more. 

Recently this team staffed 4 Flu clinics that provided over 350 vaccinations for this Flu season.  Other examples of team deployment include: Blizzard Nemo last year, when the CERT team staffed the shelter for 147 individuals at South Kingstown High School.  Neighbors and visitors caught in the storm or without power were provided shelter, food, and companionship as we waited out the power outage after the blizzard. '

In circumstances such as Nemo and hurricanes, shelters may be needed to provide safety from the storm for a few or many.  The team prepares with training and responds ready to work together with emergency management for the area using a three shift scheduling model to provide the human resources necessary to staff a shelter.   

Because a disaster/crisis can be unpredictable, this team has a goal to build to at least 50 members.  Everyone is not available for every storm, no volunteer can be present 24 hours a day, and every time disaster strikes none of us knows who the day’s heroes may be. 

Families are welcome to join and train together.  Children must be at least 13 years of age and any participant under 18 years of age must be accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian.  There is flexibility in time commitment, service type and interest in this volunteer service opportunity. Training is offered throughout the year with a number of topics covered.  

A base line of training is required for the team:  That training consists of taking the Incident Command Systems (ICS) 100 and 200 courses offered on-line at—print the certificate at the end of the course and CERT basic training.   Ready to get started?  Here’s how:

If you have skills and interest in this type of volunteer service then you’ll want to contact SRIV to register before our next CERT training session.  The next session will begin on March 25, 2014 and be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 pm at the South Kingstown Public Safety Complex on Kingstown Road. 

There will be no classes during April school vacation week.  Your first step is to get registered with SRIV, contact Lindsay at 401-552-7661 between 9 am and 2 pm Monday through Friday or by email at  Class size is limited and will be filled on a first come/first served basis.  Please register by March 21, 2014 to secure a seat for the March 25, 2014 start date.  

Questions: Call today 401-552-7661.