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Matawan and Aberdeen Begin Joint Community Emergency Response Team

The joint CERT had their first class, final details still being worked out

Matawan and Aberdeen have initiated the Herb Caravella, the communications coordinator of Aberdeen CERT.

CERT is 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."

Training for team members began on Thursday, Nov. 10 and will cover topics such as disastor preparedness, fire safety, disastor medical operations, missing persons and terrorism.

Both Matawan Mayor Paul Buccellato and Aberdeen Mayor Fred Tagliarini were present to thank the group of about nine volunteers, recalling an incident in 2005 where a Matawan resident suffering from Alzheimers wandered out of his home and could not be located. Buccellato said the Aberdeen CERT played an essential role in helping locate him.

Both towns must now pass resolutions officially creating the joint team and finalize details with each towns' insurance companies.

Kym Samma, a volunteer from Aberdeen who learned about CERT on , is glad that the township is offering training and said she looks forward to helping out in an emergency.

"The church I attend has a big push for emergency management and preparedness," Samma said. "I want to be part of the community and help the community."

The classes are being taught jointly by Caravella and Diana Noble, a local member of the Red Cross.

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