Community Emergency Response Team
The Community Emergency Response Team program educates citizens about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area. Trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. The team members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that the standard, ten-person team be comprised as follows:
CERT Team Leader. Generally, the first CERT team member arriving on the scene becomes team leader, and is the designated Incident Commander (IC) until the arrival of someone more competent. This person makes the IC initial assessment of the scene and determines the appropriate course of action for team members; assumes role of Safety Officer until assigned to another team member; assigns team member roles if not already assigned; designates triage area, treatment area, morgue, and vehicle traffic routes; coordinates and directs team operations; determines logistical needs (water, food, medical supplies, transportation, equipment, and so on.) and determines ways to meet those needs through team members or citizen volunteers on the scene; collects and writes reports on the operation and victims; and communicates and coordinates with the incident commander, local authorities, and other CERT team leaders. The team leader is identified by two pieces of crossed tape on the hard hat.
Safety Officer. Checks team members prior to deployment to ensure they are safe and equipped for the operation; determines safe or unsafe working environments; ensures team accountability; supervises operations (when possible) where team members and victims are at direct physical risk, and alerts team members when unsafe conditions arise.
Fire Suppression Team (2 people). Work under the supervision of the Team Leader to suppress small fires in designated work areas or as needed; when not accomplishing their primary mission, assist the search and rescue team or triage team; assist in evacuation and transport as needed; assist in the triage or treatment area as needed, other duties as assigned; communicate with Team Leader.
Search and Rescue Team (2). Work under the supervision of the Team Leader, searching for and providing rescue of victims as is prudent under the conditions; when not accomplishing their primary mission, assist the Fire Suppression Team, assist in the triage or treatment area as needed; other duties as assigned; communicate with Team Leader.
Medical Triage Team (2). Work under the supervision of the Team Leader, providing START triage for victims found at the scene; marking victims with category of injury per the standard operating procedures; when not accomplishing their primary mission, assist the Fire Suppression Team if needed, assist the Search and Rescue Team if needed, assist in the Medical Triage Area if needed, assist in the Treatment Area if needed, other duties as assigned; communicate with Team Leader.
Medical Treatment Team (2). Work under the supervision of the Team Leader, providing medical treatment to victims within the scope of their training. This task is normally accomplished in the Treatment Area, however, it may take place in the affected area as well. When not accomplishing their primary mission, assist the Fire Suppression Team as needed, assist the Medical Triage Team as needed; other duties as assigned; communicate with the Team Leader.
About Volunteer Polk
1290 Golfview Avenue, Bartow, FL 33830, US
Volunteer Polk’s Mission: We mobilize volunteers and resources to improve the quality of life for people throughout Polk County.
Polk County volunteers are seeking to:
- Make A Difference,
- Meet Others, and/or to
- Maximize their Career Skills - while assisting various agencies in County government.
Assignments are targeted to make a difference in the areas of:
- Education -STEM
- Economic Development & Community
- Health & Nutrition
- Public Safety
You may choose to volunteer once-a-week or once-in-a-while!