Is your family prepared for a disaster? The fact is that many families are not prepared but we hope to change that with our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, which began in 2014. The CERT program consists of two parts: the CERT basic training course and volunteer CERT teams.
The CERT basic training course is designed to teach citizens how to better cope with the aftermath of a disaster by training them in basic disaster response skills. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, citizens are then able to assist others in their neighborhood or workplace when professional responders are not immediately available.
The topics of the course are Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Fire Suppression, Disaster Medical Operations (2 parts), Light Search and Rescue Operations, Disaster Psychology and Team Organization, and Course Review and Disaster Simulation. The course is taught jointly by members of the North Aurora Police Department and the North Aurora Fire Department.
To date, dozens of people have made the commitment to serve during crisis and have graduated from the program. Applications to attend the basic training course can be picked up at the North Aurora Police Department Monday thru Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Applications are also available at https://northaurora.org/forms/.
The second part of the program is our volunteer teams. The Village maintains a team of volunteers to assist paid staff during disasters, other emergencies, or planned events such as North Aurora Days and parades. Volunteers may assist with directing traffic, perimeter/access control, triage/first aid, light search and rescue, shelter set up and operation, and more.
The Village CERT team holds monthly training and exercises to maintain their readiness. This team requires its members to complete a minimum of 20 hours of training per year. We are also forming neighborhood CERT teams, which will require a lesser commitment than the Village CERT team.