Friday, November 21, 2008

Join a team of heroes and help protect your community

Citizens of Metropolis face an uncertain threat. They are not prepared for an emergency. Potential disaster looms. Who do community leaders call? The Avengers? Justice League of America? The Fantastic Four?

No, they contact their Community Emergency Response Team. Response teams don’t possess superpowers, but they do rely on heroes in our communities — people like you and me — who are dedicated to preparing for an emergency.

In towns around the country, teams organize and train volunteers to safely help themselves and others in case of an emergency. Teams don't seek to replace emergency service providers, but they do help prepare average residents to take care of themselves and others if responders cannot immediately assist them.

Trainees in Community Emergency Response Team programs learn the basics of utility management, fire safety, search and rescue, incident planning and organization, and disaster medical operations so they can safely assist themselves and others. Teams also support their local emergency response providers by participating in preparedness drills and other community events that require extra help.

Response team members come from all walks of life — young, old, working, in school, stay-at-home or retired, it doesn't matter. If you want to be better prepared or help your community, you can join! Some members already have emergency response or public health experience, but many are just ordinary residents looking to better prepare themselves, their neighborhoods and their workplaces for minor and major emergencies.

Ready to help? Check out the Community Emergency Response Team Web site to locate a group in your area. Find out how you can join a team of heroes and help protect your community (superhero capes and tights not required).

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