New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito, NYPD Auxiliary Deputy Inspector Phylis Byrne, and FDNY Deputy Chief James Brosi presided over a graduation ceremony for 44 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers.
The graduation was held Monday evening, April 1, at the New York City Emergency Management Department headquarters in Brooklyn. The CERT graduates completed a training program in disaster preparedness and basic emergency response skills that included lessons in fire safety, search and rescue, traffic management, first aid and triage. After completing training, CERTs support their local communities by assisting City agencies that prepare for and respond to emergencies.
“CERT volunteers are an asset, not only to first responders but the entire community,” NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito said. “These 11 Bronx graduates will be joining a proud group of CERT members who are ready and willing to help their friends and neighbors prepare for emergencies.”
“The training was eye-opening because I learned simple things I could do to protect my family and community,” Bronx CERT Graduate Geneva Wilson said. “I now have the confidence to assist others during an emergency, and that is very gratifying,”
This is the 33rd basic training cycle since the New York City CERT program launched in 2003. The graduates participated in a 10-session training course, which began in February. Eleven of the graduates joined Community Emergency Response Teams in Bronx. In addition to the eleven CERT graduates joining Bronx teams, 11 will be joining Manhattan teams, five will be joining Brooklyn teams, and 17 will be joining Queens CERT teams. NYC Emergency Management also awarded 45 CERT members for completing more than 100 hours of volunteer service in 2018.
“I’m a criminal justice professor at Bronx Community College and I decided to join CERT so that I could encourage my students to become active in their communities. We all hope emergencies do not happen, but they are a reality and it is important that we not only prepare as an individual but also as a community,” Bronx CERT Graduate Crystal Rodriguez said.
Geneva Wilson – New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito recognizes CERT graduate Geneva Wilson for successfully completing the 33rd Cycle of CERT Basic Training during the CERT graduation at New York City Emergency Management headquarters in Brooklyn, NY on Monday, April 1, 2019.
Crystal Rodriguez – New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito (left) recognizes CERT graduate Crystal Rodriguez for successfully completing the 33rd Cycle of CERT Basic Training during the CERT graduation at New York City Emergency Management headquarters in Brooklyn, NY on Monday, April 1, 2019.
About Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) in New York City
The New York City CERT program started in 2003 with 106 volunteers. The new Cycle 33 CERT graduates will join more than 1,200 credentialed CERT volunteers representing more than 50 teams throughout New York City. The 44 graduates received training from a number of the city’s highly trained emergency responders, including 13 FDNY instructors, 7 FDNY / EMS instructors, 7 NYPD instructors, and 9 NYC Emergency Management liaisons.