New Braunfels Community Emergency Response Team Members Receive Regional Awards

New BraunfelsTexas 

The New Braunfels Community Emergency Response Team (NBCERT) has been recognized as the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) CERT Team of the Year for 2016. This is the 3rd year in a row (and the 4thtime in the past 5 years) that NBCERT has won this distinguished award. The local organization also had the Regional CERT Team Member of the Year Award winner Jeff Adams, who logged over 200 hours of volunteer service.

The CERT program is one of five Citizen Corps Programs (Volunteers in Police Service, Fire Corps, Neighborhood Watch, Medical Reserve Corps are the others) that are sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Administration and trains civilian populations on what they can do during a disaster/emergency that positively impacts their local community. Local jurisdictions may sponsor any one of these programs and each one educates communities on how to help them themselves until professional responders are available to assist.

“Participants in the NBCERT program learn emergency preparedness, fire safety, basic medical operations, command and control, basic search and rescue, and disaster psychology,” said Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Harris.  “At completion of training, participants are tested by insertion into a mock disaster and they must perform and reach back to their training to help mitigate the situationNBCERT committed to performing 6,300 hours of volunteer time to the City of New Braunfels during FY 2015-16 (October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016). These hours were distributed between planned events - such as Wein & Saengerfest, Kops N Kids, and Lowe’s Safety Saturday - and real incidents, such as the October flood of 2015 where the team dedicated 450 hours doing Shelter Management, Damage Assessments and a Search and Recovery in the Rebecca Creek Area.

“There is no short, simple way to say how valuable having vetted and trained civilians is in making New Braunfels and the greater Comal County area a great place to live,” Harris added.  “Knowing that during hard times those civilians are going to stand up and give back to the community to ensure that we recover from a disaster as quickly as possibly helps to lessen the impact of such incidents. Great job to all the volunteer team members that are part of the New Braunfels Community Emergency Response Team! And for those interested in joining, we will have a new training cycle beginning in early 2017.”

For additional information contact Steve Harris at sharris@nbtexas.org.

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