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Westwood Seeking Residents to Join Emergency Response Team

Bergen County is offering CERT training at the Law & Public Safety Institute this fall.

Damage after Hurricane Sandy. CERT volunteers may be called on after major storms. File photo credit: Jim Leggate.
Damage after Hurricane Sandy. CERT volunteers may be called on after major storms. File photo credit: Jim Leggate.
The Westwood Office of Emergency Management is currently seeking residents interested in taking Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) courses and assisting their fellow residents during emergencies.

If enough residents sign up, the borough will be able to form its own CERT, according to Emergency Management Deputy Coordinator Nick Ariemma. Volunteers would be asked to help with tasks like running shelters or warming centers and distributing supplies as needed during and after emergencies.

"The goal is to make emergency management more visible and viable in the community," Ariemma said.

The training courses, which will be held at the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute in Mahwah this fall, cover various aspects of emergency preparedness. 

Even if Westwood doesn't get enough interest to start a borough CERT, anyone interested in training and volunteering could join the Bergen County CERT.

The full schedule of training courses is:

Sept. 16 - CERT & Disaster Preparedness
Sept. 23 - Disaster Medical Operations 1 & 2 
Oct. 14 - Disaster Psychology for Humans & Animals
Oct. 21 – Animal Preparedness
Oct. 28 – Terrorism Awareness
Nov. 18 – Animal Rescue for Evacuations

The courses run from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The deadline to apply is September 6.

Anyone interested in taking the courses can email OEM@westwoodnj.gov or call (201) 664-7100 Ext. 123.

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