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Hillsborough C.E.R.T.

Hillsborough Residents Successfully Complete Township’s First Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program - March 10, 2006

At the February 28th Township Committee meeting, Hillsborough Township’s first ever Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program successfully concluded with the graduation of eighteen Hillsborough residents.

The CERT graduates attended eight three-hour classes which covered topics such as disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, disaster medical operations, CPR, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, team organization and terrorism awareness.

“The CERT courses are an excellent program; its main objective is to train anyone who wants to become better prepared in the event of an emergency. Residents are taught how to respond to emergency situations in their communities,” stated David Gwin, Hillsborough Rescue Squad Chief.

When emergencies occur, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community.

The Hillsborough Township Office of Emergency Management offered The CERT course and Hillsborough Rescue Squad Lt. Sean Moroney was the course coordinator. Classes were taught by members of the Township’s Rescue Squad, Police Department and Fire Department. Instructors included Lori Voorhees, Mark Beach, Bob McDonnell, Al Bauer, Pat Buckley, Bruce Vatter, Jim Maguire, Pat Bacon and Sean Moroney.

The eighteen CERT graduates are now eligible to apply to become members of the Hillsborough Township Community Response Team. In addition to completing the CERT training, team members must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma and a valid New Jersey driver’s license and pass a police background check.

“I am very honored to have had the opportunity to train with this outstanding group of Hillsborough residents. We come from all walks of life to serve our community in a time of need, two ex-mayors, businessmen and women, veterinarians, individuals from our fire department’s ladies auxiliary, a retired nurse, individual business owners and many more. We are all very proud to be the first group of Hillsborough CERT members,” stated Committeeman Bob Wagner and CERT graduate.

The CERT concept was originally developed and implemented by the Los Angeles County Fire Department in 1985. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has since adopted the program and it is now a part of the National Citizen Corps initiative.

The Hillsborough Rescue Squad is planning to hold another CERT class in the fall. Information will be available on the squad’s website.