Press Release



Volunteers to receive training in basic fire safety, traffic management and first aid

October 8, 2015 — The New York City Emergency Management Department today kicked off a new cycle of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training at its headquarters in Brooklyn – located at 165 Cadman Plaza East. New York City Emergency Management, along with representatives from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), and New York City Police Department (NYPD) Auxiliary Unit, will host the 10-week training program.

"CERT volunteers are a tremendous asset to their communities and this city," said Joseph Esposito, Commissioner of New York City Emergency Management. "New York City Emergency Management is proud to partner with the NYPD and FDNY to ensure that all of our volunteers receive the best training, allowing them to understand what it takes to help our first responders during emergencies."

"The men and women who volunteer their time to become CERT members are a true asset to their communities," said FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. "The FDNY is proud to continue to take part in this important program and train New Yorkers to step up and support their city when needed most."

This cycle, the CERT program will be hosting five consecutive training classes in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. Classes are led collaboratively by staff members from New York City Emergency Management, FDNY, and the NYPD. The volunteers will complete the 10-week training program in disaster preparedness and basic emergency response skills that include lessons in fire safety, search and rescue, traffic management, first aid, and triage. All training participants have been recruited by the existing CERTs and will go on to join their respective community-based teams after their graduation.

"Every emergency reminds us how important it is to have local trained volunteers to assist. They understand their communities and are a tremendous resource in response and recovery," said Herman Schaffer, Assistant Commissioner of Community Outreach at New York City Emergency Management. "I applaud all of our new members for taking a big step towards building a more resilient community."

"The NYPD and the Auxiliary Police (Unit) are proud partners in the NYC CERT program," said Phylis S. Byrne, NYPD Deputy Inspector. "The Auxiliary Police (Unit), which serves as 'the eyes and ears' of the NYPD, has demonstrated the vital role that well-trained, prepared and dedicated civilian volunteers can play in assisting first responders. The NYC CERT program is an effective way for dedicated volunteers to assist emergency services and help their neighbors in the event of a disaster."

About Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) in New York City

The New York City CERT program started in 2003 with 106 volunteers. To date, the City has more than 50 CERT teams and more than 2,000 credentialed members representing all five boroughs. New York City CERT volunteers participate in a 10-week training program in disaster preparedness and basic emergency response skills taught by active personnel from the Police and Fire Departments. After completing training, CERTs support their local communities by assisting City agencies that prepare for and respond to emergencies. This cycle's training will run through mid-January.

For more information about the CERT program, or if you are interested in becoming a CERT volunteer, call 311 or visit

Nancy Silvestri/Omar Bourne (718) 422-4888

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