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Local CERT term trolling for new members

A local volunteer group is looking for new recruits.

The Community Emergency Response Team that serves Canarsie is in need of new members, said its leader, the Reverend Edward Kane, speaking during the February meeting of the 69th Precinct Community Council.

Kane told council members, gathered at the Hebrew Educational Society, 9502 Seaview Avenue, that some of the team’s members had retired or moved away, leaving vacancies that he was hoping to see filled.

“We provide a great service and we need able-bodied persons to assist us,” he stressed. “You don’t have to be Superman.”

The CERT team operates as backup to first responders such as the Police and Fire Departments, and is called into service by the city when necessary. If asked to deploy, team members show up if they are able to, said Kane. “If you can’t, you can’t,” he added.

CERT members are trained in a wide variety of areas by the NYPD, the FDNY, the city’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Red Cross.

The training, which lasts 11 weeks, provides those who go through it with a wide range of skills including how to rescue someone from a building collapse, how to put out small fires, flood control, traffic direction and basic medical training, Kane said.

“It’s relatively minor what we can do, but we can do such things as triage,” he told the group

Beyond helping out during emergencies, CERT teams are also charged with educating the general public on preparedness. “We try to be people who spread information to people on a lot of different levels,” Kane noted.

To that end, he went over the concept of the go bag, which should contain basic necessities plus identification and money, and be ready to be grabbed at a moment’s notice.

But, he added, don’t put a piece of paper with your Social Security number in the bag. That should be kept “up here,” Kane said, pointing to his head.

Those interested in joining the CERT team can send an email to cert@oem.nyc.gov or call Kane at 718-257-4424.

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