Fourteen Bristol residents are ready to assist the town’s first responders should a natural disaster or other widespread emergency hit Bristol. After attending a nine-week training program, each member of the group received a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certificate, as well as a backpack containing items needed during a severe weather event or a catastrophe where mass casualties are involved.
Cortney Lancaster, a member of Bristol’s rescue department, led the trainees through a course that covered a variety of topics, including disaster preparedness, basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, urban 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. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. The program was funded through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
Upon the conclusion of the nine-week sessions that included classroom discussion, online independent study and hands-on activities, the class members applied some of the skills they learned in mock situations. In addition to their certificates, the team will be called upon to assist in events such as the Fourth of July parade and other community activities.Recieving their CERT certificates were: Dawn Bolla, Gary Bolla, Allison Carreio, Stan Dimock, Kathy Donato, Nikki Jannito, Devon Lancaster, Melissa Rosa, Arthur Schattle, Bill Setterfield, Don Squires, Neil Thibedeau, Douglas Yock and Kristen Yock.