June 20, 2016 — New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito, NYPD Deputy Inspector Phylis Byrne, and FDNY Chief James Leonard presided over a graduation ceremony for 90 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers. The graduation was held Monday evening at 4 World Trade Center in Manhattan. The CERT graduates completed a 10-week training program in disaster preparedness and basic emergency response skills that included lessons in fire safety, search and rescue, traffic management, first aid and triage. After completing training, CERTs support their local communities by assisting City agencies that prepare for and respond to emergencies.
"CERT volunteers are true leaders in our New York City communities," said Commissioner Esposito. "These graduates will be joining a proud group of New Yorkers who are prepared to help their friends and neighbors when we need them most."
The new CERT graduates include volunteers from local communities throughout the city and members of NYC Correction Department, NYC Department of Education, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYPD Auxiliary, Fraternal Order of Police, Chaplain Association of NY, American Red Cross, NYC Food Bank, Hatzolah Volunteer Ambulance, and the ASPCA, among others. 25 graduates will be joining Brooklyn CERT teams, 25 will be joining Manhattan teams, 6 will join Bronx teams, 16 will join Queens teams, and 18 will join the Staten Island team.
The graduation also featured the presentation of the annual New York City CERT Award for Excellence in Deployment and Emergency Response. This year’s award was presented to the 19 volunteers serving on the Brooklyn 10/11 team. Serving neighborhoods including Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Fort Hamilton, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, and Mapleton, the Brooklyn 10/11 CERT team has diligently served their borough and city. When a tornado swept through parts of Brooklyn in 2007, the Brooklyn 10/11 team assisted first responders by helping direct traffic in and around the hardest hit areas of Bay Ridge. In 2012 when Hurricane Sandy devastated the NYC area, Brooklyn 10/11 CERT members distributed clothes, food, and other necessities in and around their community. The team was also dispatched to Staten Island for several weeks following Hurricane Sandy to survey the homes and overall destruction Sandy left behind in that borough.
The team is also actively involved in annual events throughout Brooklyn, including concerts in the park, Easter egg hunts, Halloween walks, Good Friday processions, and more. The Brooklyn 10/11 team will be gaining one new member following the graduation.
About the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) in New York City
The New York City CERT program started in 2003 with 106 volunteers. The new Cycle 26 CERT graduates will join more than 1,700 credentialed CERT volunteers representing more than 50 teams throughout New York City. The 90 graduates received training from a number of the city’s highly trained emergency responders, including 20 FDNY instructors, 11 FDNY/EMS instructors, 7 NYPD instructors, and 16 NYC Emergency Management liaisons.
For more information about the CERT program, or if you are interested in becoming a CERT volunteer, call 311 or visit NYC.gov.
Nancy Silvestri/Justin Bennett (718) 422-4888
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