2009-11-27 / Top Stories

Ready Rockaway To Train CERT Responders

By Miriam Rosenberg

Pesach Osina, of Rockaway's CERT team, and Zandra Myers, the executive director of Ready Rockaway, announce CERT training to begin in March, meant to attract residents from throughout the peninsula. Pesach Osina, of Rockaway's CERT team, and Zandra Myers, the executive director of Ready Rockaway, announce CERT training to begin in March, meant to attract residents from throughout the peninsula. They are your neighbors, your fri - ends and your co-workers and they are among the first on the scene of a disaster. They are members of Rockaway's CERT team and they are looking for 40 volunteers to take part in upcoming training sessions to serve the peninsula.

Ready Rockaway, whose mission it is to prepare citizens of Rockaway for everything from storms to fires to the swine flu, is sponsoring training to in - crease the numbers currently serving on Rockaway's CERT team (Com - munity Emergency Response Team). It is an effort to pull together all of those living here.

"We can now have a real CERT team [serving] throughout the peninsula," said Zandra Myers, the executive director of Ready Rockaway, at the organization's November meeting. "We may never have one Rockaway politically, but what we have in common is geography. We need to prepare ourselves to be self-reliant and work with first responders."

Classes are scheduled to begin in March and continue one night a week for 10 weeks.

"You will be trained by people from different city agencies," said the CERT team's Pesach Osina. He said they need at least 10 members of the community to sign up.

According to the CERT website, in - structors are active members of the city's fire and police departments and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM). The only requirements are that a person must: be at least 18- years-of-age; be a resident, or work in New York City; and pass an OEM background check.

Among the things taught in the classes are disaster medical operations, fire safety, light search and rescue, police science and terrorism awareness.

The lead agency for CERT, the city's OEM, is conducting and paying for the training. To sign up call Myers at 718- 945-7150, extension 1306.

"This is one thing we can be united over and be working together on," said Myers.

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