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I am a member of the Somerville-Raritan CERT Team. CERT is part of the NJ Office of Emergency Management and also part of Homeland Security. CERT members are trained to help first responders in an emergency or disaster. Training includes basic first aid, CPR, rescue, fire suppression, search & rescue, and disaster management although the main focus is to assist the fire, police and rescue departments do their jobs more effectively by providing manpower for more mundane functions. CERT members are trained in shelter setup and management, traffic control, security, taking calls at command centers etc. Many members bring their personal and job talents to the team. Somerville has people who specialize in communications, computer systems, pharmacy, security, building trades and several are EMTs or in the fire department. The coordinator for the entire team is a local restaurateur, Pat Mannion of Mannion's Pub in Somerville.
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CERT was called out to set up a shelter in Somerville during hurricane Sandy in 2013 and Irene in August of 2011. Also CERT assisted in Bound Brook during the flood of March, 2010 as seen above. CERT does training exercises and helps out at community events such as marshalling the Somerville Bike Races, staging for parades, traffic/security for town events & distribution of flu vaccines. I became involved at the suggestion of my son, Justin, who is pictured on the far right.