Arizona towns seek CERT volunteers

The Community Emergency Response Team in the towns of Snowflake and Taylor, Arizona, is seeking volunteers to help local neighborhoods in the event of a disaster.

The Snowflake-Taylor CERT currently has five volunteers. Pat Hancock, the fire chief in Snowflake, and Clint Burden, the fire chief in Taylor, made a presentation on March 13 at the local community values committee. Hancock and Burden expressed interest in having a CERT representative from every church and school district, Azjournal.com reports.

The local CERT is funded primarily by grants that pay for the training and equipment of CERT members. Members of local CERTs are community members who team with local government emergency management and response agencies in case of a disaster. CERTs help neighborhoods and workplaces when local communities are unable to receive assistance right away.

"The primary reason for CERT training is to give people the decision making, organizational and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors and associates while waiting for help," Hancock and Burden said, according to Azjournal.com.

Burden said the CERT program is an opportunity for the public to get involved.

"CERT is about readiness; people helping people, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number," Hancock and Burden said, according to Azjournal.com. "CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will initially be on their own and their actions can make a difference."

Interested local residents can contact Hancock or Burden for information on becoming a CERT member, Azjournal.com reports.