Ho-Ho-Kus November 25, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES III • Page 9 CERT website now available to public by Jennifer Crusco The Ho-Ho-Kus Community Emergency Response Team recently launched its website. Interested individuals are invited to log on at ho-ho-kuscert.org. Ho-Ho-Kus CERT Program Manager Stanley Kober, who worked on the development of the website with a local student, said the URL will serve three main purposes. “One purpose is for the members. There is a members only section that is activated by password,” Kober began. “It’s also for advertising what CERT does and for recruiting members.” The third purpose, he said, is to allow everyone access to informational flyers on a wide range of topics, including flash floods, driving in inclement weather, H1N1 updates, animal emergencies, electrical outages, and home safety. Information is also available on assembling a family disaster kit, and disaster psychology. The website includes information describing the CERT program, reasons to join, what training is required, information about events and drills, links, forms, and a photo gallery. Although Kober began to organize the local team in late 2004, the CERT program, which is part of the Citizen Corps Program, was developed in Los Angeles, CA in 1985. The goal was to have community members available to assist others in the event of a widespread event such as an earthquake, when members of the public could be on their own before emergency personnel would be able to reach them. The Los Angeles Fire Department began to assemble teams whose members were trained in disaster survival and basic first aid. CERT members were then able to aid citizens until emergency personnel could arrive on the scene. CERTs are trained to search for lost or kidnapped individuals, promote community awareness of hazards and preparedness measures, assist in evacuations and traffic control, staff emergency operations centers and shelters, provide first aid, and assist with search and rescue operations. While the police department or office of emergency management might be needed in another area of the borough in a widespread disaster or weather event, CERT could fill in elsewhere. Classes, which are funded through federal taxes, consist of eight sessions (a total of 20-24 hours) that are provided at the Bergen County Public Law and Safety Institute in Mahwah. The courses are taught by emergency responders, including firefighters, emergency medical, and law enforcement personnel. Sessions include information on disaster preparedness, the impact of disasters on infrastructure, identification and reduction of potential hazards, basic fire suppression, treatment strategies for life-threatening conditions, the principles of triage, and complete patient assessment and treatment for a variety of injuries. Coursework also includes search and rescue techniques, post-disaster psychology, CERT organization, decisionmaking, documentation, an overview on terrorism, and a disaster simulation in an environment similar to the participants’ home community. The launch of the new website follows the state’s recent initiation of TEEN CERT. Due to liability issues, teens under age 18 were previously not permitted to participate in the CERT program. As of this fall, teens between ages 13 and 17 who have permission of a parent or guardian are allowed to enroll in the same basic training course as the adult CERTs. However, once the teens are certified, they will not be doing the same work as those who are 18 and over unless written permission is provided; it’s all within the parents’ or guardians’ discretion. Kober said last week that the next CERT graduation will be Dec. 9. If all of the candidates successfully pass the course, Kober hopes the borough will gain four members of TEEN CERT. For additional information on membership, contact Kober at sakober@yahoo.com or call Police Chief Gregory The Ho-Ho-Kus Garden Club has been busy decorating The Hermitage for the holidays. The theme is ‘Notes from the Past.’ Seen here admiring a music book printed in 1875 are garden club members Kathy Luzzi (left), who coordinated the decorating effort, and Mary Ann Rooney. The Hermitage is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Decorating divas W/COUPON • Exp 11/30/09 • Not Combinable www.VacationRentalsRetreats.com Come stay in our CATSKILL MOUNTAIN SKI RETREAT. Stay 2 nights, get the 3RD NIGHT FREE! THOUSANDS OF DESIGNER & FAMOUS MAKER COATS FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY DEPARTMENT STORE PRICES THOUSANDS OF LADIES’ PLUS EVERYDAY DESIGNER SHOES & BOOTS (in the former Fortunoff Outdoor Store) 150 Rt 17N • Paramus 201-262-1060 Any children’s coat purchase of $29 or more Open 10am to 9pm Monday - Saturday www.bestcoatfactory.com Coupon expires 12/7/09. Not valid on previous purchases. Cannot be combined with any other offer or coupon. VT11/25