MOUNT VERNON - Rend Lake College is proud to announce its community partnership with the CERT project.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, using the model created by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, began promoting nationwide use of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept in 1994. Since then, CERTs have been established in hundreds of communities. CERT training promotes a partnering effort between emergency services and the people that they serve. The goal is for emergency personnel to train members of neighborhoods, community organizations, or workplaces in basic response skills.
Rend Lake College will offer CERT training from 6:30 to 9:30pm on Monday evenings beginning June 7 through August 9. The classes will be held at the RLC Marketplace in Mt. Vernon in Room 222. The training is free; however, participants must call to register for class.
Once trained, CERT members are then integrated into the emergency response capability for their area. If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community's professional response, CERT members can assist others by applying the basic response and organizational skills that they learned during training. These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives.
CERT skills also apply to daily emergencies. CERT members maintain and refine their skills by participating in exercises and activities. They can attend supplemental training opportunities offered by the sponsoring agency and others that further their skills base. Finally, CERT members can volunteer for projects that improve community emergency preparedness. All participants will receive 1.5 college credits through Rend Lake College for completing this course.
CERT training will teach participants how to prepare for the types of hazards most likely to affect their homes and communities, prepare for the function of CERT and their roles in immediate response, take steps to prepare themselves for disaster, identify and reduce potential fire hazards in their homes and workplaces, and much more.
Other community partners for this project include Chief Mike Huntman of the Jefferson Fire Protection District, Sheriff Roger Mulch of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, Kevin Sargent with the City of Mt.Vernon EMA, and the Jefferson County Red Cross. Any other agencies, individuals or private sector industries wishing to help are welcomed to contact Benton Fitzjerrells at the Jefferson County EMA office.
For those interested in taking the CERT training, please call Rend Lake College at 618-437-5321 x 1267 to register for class.