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Sheriff honors CERT members at holiday gathering

CERT praised for its efforts during the past year&#8217;s disasters.

On Saturday, December 17, 2011, Sheriff Michael F. Strada attended the Sussex County CERT Team’s holiday party and presented several members of the team with Certificates of Appreciation and Exceptional Service Awards for their efforts during the past year’s disasters.

The purpose of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is to train citizens to be better prepared for disasters. The Sussex County Sheriff’s Office, Division of Emergency Management adopted the program in 2004. That year, 21 citizens were trained in the core components of the program and the Sussex County CERT was established.

Presently, the Sussex County CERT program has approximately 200 members with an active core group of 40 members. The team conducts monthly training and holds one full-scale exercise every year.

During Hurricane Irene, CERT assisted in shelter operations in which 22 CERT members covered over 445 hours of those operations, several of whom worked in excess of 51 hours. They also deployed during Tropical Storm Lee and the October 29, 2011 snowstorm to assist in shelter operations for the extended power outages.

Sheriff Strada, in praising the volunteers for their hard work, said “these members are volunteers who are dedicated to training and preparedness for the citizens of Sussex County.” He asked for their continued support of the CERT program and issued an open invitation to county residents, saying “we are always looking for volunteers and welcome anyone from the county who would like to join our CERT team.”

Interested persons should contact Sgt. George Arnot at 973.579.0875, ext. 2300.

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