Would you like to learn new skills and help in the event of a natural or man-made distater if one were to ever stike Renton?
The City of Renton is actively recruiting volunteers to be part of the city's Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). CERT is a nationwide all-hazards disaster preparedness program created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It is also part of the national Citizens Corps program to increase preparedness through volunteerism. CERT volunteers work with the fire department to better prepare the community to respond to disasters.
This year the city has expanded the opportunities available for training and education and is offering the following:
- Spring 2012 CERT Academy: Wednesdays, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., March 21 - May 5, 2012, City of Renton Fire Station 14, 1900 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA.
The spring 2012 CERT Academy will begin on March 21, 2012, and registration is now open for this session. CERT graduates receive 24 hours of training in fire suppression, search and rescue, first aid, disaster psychology and team organization, and participate in a disaster simulation on Saturday May 5. CERT-trained individuals are able to work as part of a team in their neighborhood in order to meet the needs of residents after a disaster. Classes are taught by fire department personnel and local experts. The cost is $25 for Renton residents and $30 for non-residents. To register go to rentonwa.gov, click on the recreation division and then on cybersignup.org or call 425-430-6700.
- Creating a Disaster Resilient Community: Thursday, April 26, 6:30 p.m., 7th floor Council Chambers at Renton City Hall, 1055 S. Grady Way, Renton, WA.
This forum will explore relevant assets in the community and how Renton residents and businesses can work towards being more disaster resilient over time. A greater part of the forum will be conducted in discussion-based small groups. A light dinner will be served during this forum and there is no cost to attend. To register go to rentonwa.gov, click on the recreation division and then on cybersignup.org or call 425-430-6700.
- CERT Animal Response I, Wednesday, May 23, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; and CERT Animal Response II, Wednesday, June 6, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; City of Renton Fire Station 14, 1900 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA.
- These two classes are offered to past CERT graduates and provide emergency preparedness information relevant to animals. To register go to rentonwa.gov, click on the recreation division and then on cybersignup.org or call 425-430-6700.
"Emergency volunteers are a tremendous asset to our community," said Deborah Needham, Emergency Management Director. "During the recent winter storm, our emergency volunteers - the Renton Emergency Communication Service and CERT members - were some of the unsung heroes of the city's response. They helped their neighbors, provided real-time weather and road condition information, posted shelter information in different languages at each of our schools, and took an active role with social media. Last year, they contributed nearly 5,000 hours of volunteer service to the city."
For more information about CERT contact Mindi Mattson at 425-430-7041.