CERT now a county entity

November 21, 2012

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is now in the hands of county officials.

“After working with the city of Granbury for the past several years on the CERT it has been agreed for the county to take over the training and administration of CERT,” Hood County Emergency Management Coordinator Brian Fine said. “The city has done a great job of acquiring equipment through grants and donations that will be put to good use.

“The city will retain ownership of these items but in an agreement signed by the city and county, the Hood County Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Office will now be conducting the recruitment and training for the team.

“We will continue to work with the Granbury CPAA (Citizens Police Academy) on many events but will also move forward in developing CERT to its full capabilities.”

Fine said that members of CERT use their classroom training and knowledge gained during exercises to assist others in their neighborhood of workplace following an event in which professional responders are not immediately available.

“The CERT program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations,” The agreement was completed during a Nov. 13 Commissioners Court meeting, Fine said.

“Now that that is done we can formally start moving the equipment over and are recruiting now,” Fine noted. “The team only has a few members right now and over the next couple of weeks we are in transition, with getting them all on the same page.”

Fine noted that people who have time to volunteer as part of CERT are being sought.

“We provide training and preparedness, and we have spots for everyone who is willing,” Fine said. “If someone is only able to do administrative work, we have a spot. If they want to get involved in the field operations side, we have a spot.

“In addition very shortly we will be starting Teen CERT. Teen CERT offers a great way for our youth to get involved and to learn some basic leadership and preparedness skills.”

Both CERT and Teen CERT require about 30 hours of basic training provided within the county by professional instructors, plus CPR/AED training.

Fine said anyone interested in helping with CERT can contact him or Stephanie Parker at the Fire Marshal’s Office by calling 817-579-3335. You can also email Fine at [email protected], or Parker at [email protected]

[email protected]|817-573-7066, ext. 254

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