Manassas Park CERT Program
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To improve the emergency response preparedness of the City of Manassas Park, the Fire and Rescue Department implemented a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program in January 2004. Currently the CERT program has 22 volunteers, and each member has received at least 18 hours of training.
The Manassas Park CERT is comprised of City employees and citizens interested in being active members of a volunteer neighborhood-based disaster response team. Training is free and prepares the members to assist the Fire and Rescue Department, friends, relatives and neighbors in a disaster.
If you are interested in applying to participate, please print and complete the CERT Corps Membership Application and submit it by: Fax: 703-335-8865; Mail: Manassas Park Fire and Rescue Department, Attn: CERT, 9080 Manassas Drive, Manassas Park, VA 20111.
Training includes: Introduction to Disasters, Medical Operations including First Aid, Triage, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Basic Search and Rescue Skills, Basic Fire Suppression skills, Team Organization, Disaster Psychology, and Introduction to Terrorism Response.
Manassas Park CERT in Action
Types of emergencies/disasters to which the CERTs have responded:
- Hurricane Sandy supporting the Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
- Removal of snow covering city fire hydrants
Activities During Emergencies
Activities conducted by CERTs during past emergencies:
- Initial damage assessment
- Removing snow and debris
- Staffing shelters
- Staffing phones at the Emergency Operations Center
Non-emergency functions performed by CERT members:
- Support for emergency planning (neighborhoods, schools, community)
- Support for public safety at community events including assist with city events including July 4 Celebrations and Christmas Parades
- Emergency preparedness
- Home safety / prevention assistance to others (winterizing homes, fire safety actions, crime prevention steps, etc.)
Program Delivery: Classroom and Field Training
The City of Manassas Park CERT (MPCERT) course is delivered in our community by a team of first responders who have the requisite knowledge and skills to instruct the sessions. It is suggested that the instructors complete a CERT Train-the-Trainer (TTT) course conducted by the Virginia Training Office for Emergency Management or the Emergency Management Institute in order to learn the training techniques that are used successfully by the LAFD (Los Angeles City Fire Department).
The MPCERT training is usually delivered in 3-hour sessions, one evening per week for eight (8) weeks. During each session, participants are required to bring safety equipment (gloves, goggles, mask) and disaster supplies (bandages, flashlight, dressings) that will be used during the session. By doing this for each session, participants are building a disaster response kit of items they will need during a disaster. For training information and course descriptions, click here.
CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference. Through training, citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat potential fatalities by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims safely and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.