The latest class of Aberdeen-Matawan Community Emergency Response members will complete their final training exercise on Saturday before graduating from the program.
Volunteers—a group of 26 who started training on Oct. 23, 2013—will begin their final exercise at 9 a.m. at the Keyport First Aid building, according to a news release issued by the organization.
"CERT is designed to educate at a local municipality level residents about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact the area," reads a statement issued by Aberdeen-Matawan CERT. "Volunteers receive training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations."
The current class includes 10 residents from Aberdeen, eight from Matawan, and four each from Keyport and Union Beach. With the addition of the current class, 72 members total are in Aberdeen-Matawan CERT, according to officials.
CERT members provide assistance during natural emergencies, like Superstorm Sandy, help locate missing persons, and augment safety enforcement during local events like parades and fireworks displays, according to officials.
In 2013, Aberdeen-Matawan CERT members logged more than 730 volunteer hours, officials said.
Anyone interested in learning more about the local CERT program or becoming a member is asked to contact Coordinator Herb Caravella by phone at 732-620-1053 or through email.