Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) trains members of our community to safely respond to local emergencies such as winter storms, floods, wild fires, earthquakes or tsunamis.

In the event of an emergency, first responders — police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians — are the best trained and equipped to respond to a disaster. However, some emergencies or disasters overwhelm our communities’ immediate response capabilities.

CERT training gives volunteers the decision-making, organization and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members and neighbors while waiting for help. CERT members learn about potential threats and are able to take the proper steps to lessen the effect of potential hazards. With training and practice and by working as a team, CERT members focus on providing the greatest good to the greatest number, with safety as their number one priority.

Members drill regularly throughout the year and participate in community events by providing traffic control, distributing safety information and helping with security.

Training for new Nehalem Bay CERT members is offered twice each year, and a disaster simulation exercise qualifies new CERT members. CERT volunteers are trained in disaster first aid, triage, light search and rescue, fire safety, community and personal preparedness, disaster psychology and the Incident Command System.

Nehalem Bay CERT has also teamed up with the Medical Reserve Corps, the American Red Cross, local amateur radio operators and the Rockaway Beach CERT program to form a Teen CERT organization at Neahkahnie High School. This program teaches preparedness, first aid, search and rescue, fire safety and CPR to students at Neahkahnie High School.

Nehalem Bay CERT holds five bimonthly meetings each year, held at 6:30 p.m. at Nehalem Bay Fire and Rescue District Station 13 on the four Tuesday of every even month (February, April, June, August and October). There is no training meeting in December.

CERT offers a variety of voluntary training sessions for team members on topics such as firewise communities; water, sanitation and hygiene; search and rescue; firefighter rehabilitation; electrical safety; victim transport and crime scene response.

In addition to these classes, we ask all CERT members to take the National Incident Management Training classes ICS 700, ICS 100 and ICS 200, available online.

To learn of other upcoming training opportunities, please visit our EVCNB calendar.

For more information or to get involved, contact Bill Harshbarger at harshbarger@nehalemtel.net or 503-368-6716 or Paula Peek at ppeek@nehalemtel.net or 503-368-4866.

Learn more at fema.gov and ready.gov