Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

The Morris County Office of Emergency Management is sharing in an $11,176 equipment grant from Rotary International and the Rotary Club of the Caldwells.                                    
Morris CERT Teams Benefit From Rotary Grant

The grant provides equipment that will be distributed to Community Emergency Response Teams in Morris, Essex and Sussex counties.

CERT gives citizens the opportunity to get involved and help their community in time of need.

The 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, said Jeffrey Paul, director of the Morris County Office of Emergency Management. 

The grant, which was financially supported by Rotary clubs as far away as India, was spearheaded by Kevin Hersh a member of the Rotary Club of the Caldwells and a member of the West Essex CERT.

“We are very thankful for the efforts of Mr. Hersh and the entire Rotary community on behalf of our CERT volunteers,” said Morris County Freeholder Director Tom Mastrangelo.  “Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help”

“CERT volunteers also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community,” said Freeholder Douglas Cabana, liaison to the Department of Law and Public Safety.

“We need to involve the community in our preparedness and response efforts, and the Morris County CERT volunteers provide a critical role within our individual communities as well as at a county level,” Cabana said. 

According to Hersh, a big part of being a Rotarian is supporting community volunteers, like CERT members.

“Morris County Rotarians and Rotarians throughout New Jersey and Rotary International recognize the value of CERT, and we are extremely proud of our continued efforts to support community based programs,” Hersh said.