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Office of Public Information (609) 882-2000
Capt. Al Della Fave ext. 6514
Lt. Gerald Lewis ext. 6516
Sgt. Stephen Jones ext. 6513
Sgt. Jeanne Hengemuhle ext. 6515

September 27, 2007

9 More Rolling Response Centers Hit the Road
NJ Office of Emergency Management gives nine more command post trailers to CERT groups from across the state

West Trenton, N.J. – Colonel Rick Fuentes, Director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, today supplied CERT volunteers across New Jersey with more emergency response tools, to enhance New Jersey’s homeland security and keep communities safe and secure.

Colonel Fuentes along with many OEM officials presented nine mobile command post trailers to Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) located throughout the state. Each trailer is fully loaded with the equipment necessary to set up a mobile command post and triage center. Each unit includes a tent, electric generator, emergency lights, stretchers, rescue devices and medical supplies, and various support items.

This was the fourth round of deployments of these fully loaded trailers to CERTs in New Jersey.

New Jersey has the largest CERT program in the nation with more than 10,000 volunteers and 375 teams throughout the state. The trailer deployments, today, ensure this vital equipment will be strategically placed throughout New Jersey to aid in rapid emergency response.

New Jersey’s CERT volunteers are ordinary citizens who undergo an eight-week, 20-hour training course on disaster preparedness, fire suppression, first aid and triage, search and rescue, disaster psychology, terrorism preparedness and team organization. Every graduate receives a basic emergency kit including an identification vest, hard hat, safety goggles, dust mask, work gloves, and a multi-use emergency tool that can be used to shut off gas and water lines, dig through debris and pry open doors.

Each CERT volunteer belongs to a local, county or state team, with continuing training opportunities throughout the year. During times of emergency, they provide vital support for first responders and their fellow citizens.

The CERT concept was developed in 1985 in Los Angeles, as a way to help emergency responders during the early stages of a disaster. Ewing Township created New Jersey’s first team in 1998. CERT membership and the number of new teams in New Jersey began expanding rapidly after the 2003 creation of the New Jersey State Citizen Corps Council, designed to provide structure for the many residents who wished to volunteer for New Jersey’s homeland security.

New Jersey’s CERT volunteers have been called on to aid in the search for lost or kidnapped children, help staff emergency operations centers, guide and direct spontaneous volunteers during major events, and assist the Red Cross and other relief organizations with mass care. All throughout the State, CERTs have been assisting their Offices of Emergency Management in Preparedness Activities to promote disaster awareness and encouraging residents to create an emergency supply kit.

CERT volunteers must be 18 years of age and possess a valid driver’s license. Anyone can participate, regardless of his or her level of physical ability. Those interested should call 609-882-2000, ext. 6060 and speak with the State Police CERT coordinator.

The following is a list of the recipients of the fourth round of CERT utility trailers:

  • Parsippany, Morris County
  • Long Hill, Morris County
  • Toms River, Ocean County
  • Bayshore Regional CERT (Holmdel, Aberdeen, Hazlet, Keyport, Union Beach), Monmouth County
  • Warren Township, Somerset County
  • Piscataway, Middlesex County
  • Pinelands Regional CERT (Shamong, Tabernacle, Bass River), Burlington County
  • Lower Township, Cape May County
  • Camden Zone 5 CERT (Mt. Ephraim, Brooklawn, Bellmawr, Runnemede, Gloucester City), Camden County


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