Wilton CERT disaster preparedness training, new members

T.G. Rawlins, left, listens as Jack Majesky of Wilton CERT goes over instructions before the annual 9/11 motorcycle caravan in a previous year. The all volunteer team with the support of Wilton Emergency Management Director, Police Chief John Lynch, recently completed their annual disaster preparedness training program on Saturday, April 24.

T.G. Rawlins, left, listens as Jack Majesky of Wilton CERT goes over instructions before the annual 9/11 motorcycle caravan in a previous year. The all volunteer team with the support of Wilton Emergency Management Director, Police Chief John Lynch, recently completed their annual disaster preparedness training program on Saturday, April 24.

Paul Lourd / Contributed photo

Wilton’s all-volunteer Community Emergency Response Team, (CERT), with the support of Wilton Emergency Management Director, Police Chief John Lynch, recently completed its annual disaster preparedness training program.

Citizens from six different local municipalities were trained to help family, friends, and neighbors in the event of an emergency or disaster that affected the town greatly. CERT Instructor certified by the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, along with other instructors from the police department, fire department and emergency medical service assisted in the training.

The training covered a variety of emergency skills, such as how to prepare before a disaster strikes, fire safety, basic first aid, disaster psychology, hazardous materials and terrorism awareness. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the training was conducted primarily over videoconference but also included field practical exercises, which were conducted safely outdoors. These exercises included radio communications and learning how to safely extinguish a fire. At the conclusion of the course, disaster preparedness backpack kits were awarded to all participants who completed the course. Training continues through the year for all CERT members on various subjects including winter storm preparedness, Civil Unrest, Traffic Safety, and various natural disasters.

Each year, upon graduation from the course, participants are invited to join the Wilton CERT organization. This year, 26 course graduates applied, and have been accepted to become Wilton CERTs.

As part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Wilton CERT regularly provides assistance to the town and its first responders at large emergency incidents and public events. Wilton CERT has performed a broad range of deployment activities, including assistance at this year’s Town Corona Vaccine clinics, traffic and crowd control duties, search and rescue for missing persons, staffing Wilton’s emergency shelter and distributing emergency food and water as and when required.

This annual training comprises 20 hours of instruction in the various areas of Disaster Preparedness and the course is provided free of charge to attendees. A waiting list for next year’s, 2021, course is available on the CERT website on the disaster preparedness page https://www.wiltoncert.org/disaster-preparedness-training For further information about CERT activities, visit www.wiltoncert.org, or follow CERT on Facebook @wiltoncert.