The above photo depicts in no particular order Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy, Lacey Township Police Chief Michael C. DiBella, Lacey Township Police Lieutenant Christopher Kenny, Ocean Township Police Lieutenant Scott Murphy, Ocean County OEM John Kirwin, and the graduating members of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department (OEM) Community Emergency Response Team, including 17 residents from Lacey Township. The graduation occurred on the evening of August 3rd, 2017.
In June of 2016, I became the Emergency Management Coordinator for the Lacey Township Office of Emergency Management. I initially reviewed the office and looked for ways we could improve our services to the community, including ways that we could work together with our residents. I soon researched the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, and felt that it could be utilized right here in Lacey Township, during both emergency and non-emergency events, while at the same time involving our residents. The CERT program is a Nationwide initiative that is utilized to help train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies happen, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, for example the local police department and office of emergency management, to provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects and events that help improve the safety of the community.
CERTS have been used to:
- Search for lost/missing children
- Staff Emergency Operations Centers (Shelters) and monitor events
- Emergency Operations Center security; driving, information, assisting disabled visitors and providing minor first aid
- Manage “spontaneous/convergent” volunteers
- Assist Red Cross and other relief organizations on mass care
During the past couple of months, the Lacey Township Office of Emergency Management partnered with the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management to provide a CERT training program for the residents of Lacey Township. The CERT class began on Thursday, July 13, 2017. The training included but was not limited to, Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Psychology, Medical Operations, Fire Safety, including hands on training with fire extinguishers, Search and Rescue, Cert and Team Organization, Terrorism and Hazmat.
I am proud to announce that on the evening of Thursday, August 3rd, 2017, 17 residents from Lacey Township graduated from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department (OEM) Community Emergency Response Team Program (CERT) and are ready to volunteer for both Lacey Township and Ocean County. The class also included residents from Tuckerton, Beachwood, New Egypt, and Toms River. Additional graduations, including three more residents from Lacey Township are forthcoming. I would like to thank the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Office of Emergency Management for making this class available to the residents of Lacey Township.
I am really looking forward to working with the new CERT volunteers in our community and I congratulate each one of them.
If any of our residents are interested in becoming a CERT member you may contact Lacey Police Lieutenant Christopher Kenny or Lacey Police Sergeant Michael Eden at 609-693-6636. You may also contact John Kirwin from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Office of Emergency Management at 732-341-3451.
-Chief Michael C. DiBella