New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito, NYPD Auxiliary Deputy Inspector Phylis S. Byrne, and FDNY Deputy Chief James Brosi presided over a graduation ceremony for 35 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers, including 14 who will join local Queens teams. The graduation was held on Monday, March 26, at the New York City Emergency Management Department headquarters in Brooklyn. The CERT graduates completed a training program in disaster preparedness and basic emergency response skills that included lessons in fire safety, search and rescue, traffic management, first aid, and triage. After completing training, CERT volunteers support their local communities by assisting City agencies that prepare for and respond to emergencies. The Queens CERT team serving community boards 12 and 13 will gain eight new members, the team serving community boards 1 and 2 gains two members, Queens CERT 9 gains two members, Queens CERT 4 gains one, and the Queens CERT team serving community boards 7/11 also gains one.
The graduates participated in a five-week training course, which began in February and met twice weekly.
“I like the idea of volunteering; to be honest, I like to be in the midst of things. I was drawn to the CERT trainings because you don’t have to have prior knowledge of disaster response to join,” said Queens CERT graduate Jon Butler. “I am looking forward to being empowered to help my community and to help the City.”
“CERT volunteers play a vital role in how New York City communities prepare for and respond to emergencies,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “These graduates will be joining a proud group of New Yorkers who are ready and willing to help their friends and neighbors when we need them most.”