Wilton CERT emergency training program to begin

Wilton’s volunteer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), in conjunction with the Wilton Department of Emergency Management will offer its annual disaster preparedness training program to 25 people. Citizens are invited to become trained to help family, friends and neighbors in the event of an emergency or disaster.

The free program begins Wednesday, Oct. 22, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Trackside Teen Center, and consists of 20 hours of training designed by Homeland Security. It is a combination of lectures and practical field exercises. Classes take place in Wilton and New Canaan.

CERT Instructors are certified by the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Instructors from police and fire departments and Emergency Medical Service will also participate. The training will cover a variety of emergency skills, such as how to prepare for when a disaster strikes; fire safety, including how to extinguish small fires and how to evacuate a smoke-filled building; basic first aid; disaster psychology; hazardous materials and terrorism awareness.

Upon successful completion of the course, graduates 18 and older are eligible and welcome to join Wilton CERT. As part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Wilton CERT regularly provides assistance to first responders at large emergency incidents or public events. Wilton CERT has performed a broad range of deployment activities, including missing person searches and traffic and crowd control duties along with staffing Wilton’s emergency shelter and distributing emergency food and water.

Information and registration are online at wiltoncert.org. Course participants must be 16 years or older.

Questions may be directed to John Stewart at jvstew@optonline.net or 203-848-5937.