C.E.R.T. is an acronym for “Community Emergency Response Team” and is part of two larger groups. CERT falls under the Michigan Community Service Commission, but also is under the Federal Office of Domestic Preparedness or “ODP”. The ODP provides both the guidelines for training and the much needed funding for CERT teams throughout the Country.
The mission of our local CERT is to provide emergency assistance to our community in time of need. In such a time, Police and Fire/EMS personnel may be overwhelmed and not able to meet the demand for services. Citizens may have to rely on one another in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs. It is with this philosophy in mind that our local CERT group was formed.
Late in 2003, our ACT NOW Chairperson, Don Granzine and others put together a proposed grant request to support our local Cert group. It was their belief that a person who is going to volunteer for this type of training should not be expected to furnish the necessary equipment on their own. Money for the equipment purchase as well as any other items necessary for their training were put into a grant request.
In March of 2004, our local CERT group received word from the Michigan Community Service Commission that the Gerrish Township Police/ACT NOW CERT group funding grant request had been approved and was going to be awarded with $13,175.00. Thus began a lot of hard work for several members of the ACT NOW group, but most notably Don Granzine and Leonard Weismiller. They began the process of determining what equipment needed to be purchased for each of the prospective members. It ended up that each one of the CERT trained people received over $125 in gear and equipment to assist them with their mission.
This first group of trainees began their 20 hour training class. The class met one night a week. They trained in such areas as Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Fire Suppression, Disaster Medical Operations (Parts 1 & 2), Light Search and Rescue, Disaster Psychology and Team Organizations and Terrorism and CERT. They finished up their class with a practical exercise which simulated a mock disaster. Since that time Gerrish Township Police/ACT NOW has graduated a second class of team members. These two groups have joined together to continue training and learning new things to aid them with their mission.
If you would be interested in joining, training and becoming a CERT member please contact the Gerrish Township Police Office or e-mail us at email@example.com.