CERT in Sterling Heights
One of my personal interests concerns emergency preparedness for natural disasters. Michigan’s climate exposes it to some violent weather conditions in the form of tornadoes, blizzards and flooding, so it has always seemed prudent to me to maintain some level of readiness should conditions go sour. My main goal is to be self-sufficient and be able to take care of my own family. If possible, however, I also want to be able to help out my friends, neighbors and fellow members of the community. That’s why I joined CERT.
CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team, and it is coordinated on the national level by FEMA. After approximately 20 hours of training, ordinary citizens like you and me can have a basic understanding of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), light search and rescue, basic medical treatment, fire suppression and a host of other skills which can save the lives of people who have fallen victim to a disaster, either natural or man-made.
In Sterling Heights, the emergency management function of local government has recently transitioned to the Police Department. There has been a decided shift towards more emphasis on CERT as part of that transition, and the CERT team now enjoys some prime real estate on the city’s website.
With the new emphasis on CERT, the team, which has existed since the middle of the last decade, has been reinvigorated. There are a number of new sub-teams, and I am proud to be both the Assistant CERT Coordinator (reporting to CERT Coordinators Bill & Dianne Thiel) as well as the team leader for the Search & Rescue teams. Sgt. Glenn French, a Sterling Heights Police Department Training Bureau leader, and a recognized author is the CERT Liaison, reporting to Emergency Manager, Police Captain Thomas Fett.
I encourage you to read more about CERT, learn how Sterling Heights’ CERT fits into our city’s emergency management plans, and consider becoming more prepared in case of an emergency yourself. At the present time we do not have classes scheduled for new prospective members to take, but if there is sufficient interest in the community that could change. If you are interested, send an email either to myself, or better yet to firstname.lastname@example.org