The Aberdeen Township Council and the Matawan Borough Council officially created a joint Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) at their respective meetings Feb. 5.
CERT is a nationwide initiative that falls under the Office of Emergency management. According to Aberdeen Township's website, members are trained to respond to emergencies and can provide "critical support to first reponders, provide immediate assistance to victims and organizae spontaneous volunteers at a diasaster site."
Both councils introduced and passed an ordinance establishing a CERT and then a resolution creating an interlocal agreement between the two municipalities.
According to the interlocal agreement, all volunteers must be at least eighteen and must complete mandatory training in accordance with FEMA in areas including disastor preparedness, fire suppression, disastor medical operations, light search and rescue operations disastor psychology, team organization and anti-terrorism.
Each CERT will be under the supervision of their respective Office of Emergency Management and one person will be appointed collectively by Aberdeen and Matawan to serve as the main correspondant and coordinate the efforts of the volunteers.
According to the resolution, any grants or funding received by either Aberdeen or Matawan will be divided proportionately by the size of the municipalities.
"This is great because it's again establishing shared services between Matawan and Aberdeen," Matawan Mayor Paul Buccellato said. "This is an important shared service because it enlists the aid of residents who volunteer their time to participate in the program."
Both the Township Council and the Borough Council will hold a public hearing at their respective meetings on Tuesday, Feb. 19 on the ordinance before voting on final approval.
Editor's Note: Herb Caravella, who will oversee the joint CERT, said he intends to hold a training session for interested volunteers in the near future. Like the joint CERT on Facebook for more details.