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Community Emergency Response Volunteers Needed

Learn how to help your neighbors in case of an emergency.

Do you want to know how to take action and help the community during an emergency - whether it's a fire, medical issue or natural disaster?

CERT is nationwide initiative set in motion after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The program falls under the Office of Emergency management and according to Aberdeen Township's website, members are trained to respond to emergencies and can provide "critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site."

The Aberdeen-Matawan Community Emergency Response Team will be holding classes to train new volunteers starting in October. Volunteers do not need any prior emergency training or knowledge, just a dedication to helping others. There are no requirements for physical fitness or age, said Caravella, but you must be 18 years or older to participate.

Training to become a member of CERT consists of eight weeks of classes. Volunteers meet once a week for about 2.5 hours and cover a variety of topics such as disastor preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical operations, missing persons and terrorism. 

Classes will be held on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., including Oct. 23, Oct. 30, Nov. 6, Nov. 13, Nov. 20, Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18. Classes will be held at the Keyport First Aid Building at 1927 Atlantic Street. 

A hands-on final exercise and graduation will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on a Saturday in January that has not yet been determined. 

To apply or for more information, contact Herb Caravella at herb.caravella@aberdeennj.org and 732-583-4000 ext. 799. 

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