When Wilton\u2019s Community Emergency Response Team, better known as CERT, was formed in 2004, one of the first people to raise their hand to join was T.G. Rawlins. Rawlins eventually became the team\u2019s operations officer and on Wednesday, Oct. 16, he stepped down from that position and was given a celebratory sendoff by his teammates, as well as Wilton\u2019s first responders \u2014 firefighters, police officers, EMS volunteers \u2014 that CERT supports. Dozens of volunteers, town employees and town officials gathered at fire headquarters for a luncheon and testimonials. \u201cWithout T.G., Wilton CERT would be nothing,\u201d said Jack Majesky, another founder. \u201cThere couldn\u2019t be any single person more important to an organization like that guy,\u201d he said, adding Rawlins was responsible for recruiting, training, and performance. \u201cIn 15 years, we have never, ever failed on any deployment to turn out the numbers or do the job,\u201d Majesky continued, \u201cwhether it\u2019s 2:30 a.m. for 4 p.m. on a weekday.\u201d Majesky said one of the things Rawlins will be remembered for is his insistence to \u201cdo it better, do it safer.\u201d Considered second responders, CERT supports Wilton\u2019s first responders, whether it is handling traffic during a storm or accident investigation, operating emergency shelters, participating in search and rescue, or distributing bottled water during prolonged power outages. Rawlins is leaving CERT because he recently retired as a sales manager for industrial parts supplier Schaeffler, and he and his wife Tosha will sail south next week on the Intracoastal Waterway to Stuart, Fla. He promised they will return periodically. A modest man, Rawlins did not specify any particular events of note as a member of CERT but instead said he was glad \u201cjust to be able to get to an event. You need the team, the skills and to gain the respect of the first responders to assist them.\u201d He took pride in \u201cjust being there when we\u2019re needed\u201d and helping to train \u201ccitizens to be ready for the Sandys and Irenes.\u201d He called the dedication of his teammates \u201cunbelievable\u201d and while every member has their own reasons for joining CERT, \u201cat the end it\u2019s common for all of us to be providing a community service,\u201d he said. A former member of the Round Hill Volunteer Fire Department in Greenwich, Rawlins said that when he moved to Wilton, joining CERT \u201cfilled that void of being involved in emergency services.\u201d One of the most challenging tasks is closing down Route 7 after a fatal accident so police can conduct their investigation. \u201cIt\u2019s tough, because people don\u2019t know the detours,\u201d he said. Police Chief John Lynch is one first responder who appreciates CERT, saying it is a \u201cgreat asset.\u201d \u201cWe\u2019re going to miss him,\u201d he said of T.G. \u201cEvery call we went on he was there,\u201d he said. \u201cWhen he wasn\u2019t there we started to worry about him.\u201d First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said, \u201cthe personal commitment he made was enormous. It\u2019s not easy and not everyone has that commitment.\u201d Despite Rawlins\u2019 leaving, \u201cothers will step up,\u201d she said. \u201cHe\u2019s leaving the organization in great shape.\u201d One of those remaining with CERT is Pat Russo, another early member. He said CERT training \u201ctotally changes your perspective and how to anticipate emergencies. You\u2019re always trying to be more prepared to the point where other people ask you for help. \u201cIt\u2019s been very rewarding getting to know T.G. It really is a strong volunteer group that wants to show they are involved and looking out for their neighbors,\u201d he said.