The Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) at Hunters Run Country Club in Boynton Beach, Fla. is preparing for another year of offering service to its community. Hunters Run C.E.R.T. comprises community volunteers who receive training from the Boynton Beach Fire & Rescue Department and the Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management. It includes fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. More than 30 volunteers participate in the program.
A first responder is a person with specialized training who is among the first to arrive and provide assistance or incident resolution at the scene of an emergency. When one thinks of first responders, they typically envision law enforcement personnel, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and emergency department personnel, i.e., doctors and nurses. But many of today’s first responders are family members, friends, and neighbors. Such is the case at Hunters Run Country Club in Boynton Beach, Fla. as the Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) leader, Paul Pugliese, prepares his team for the upcoming year.
Hunters Run C.E.R.T. comprises community volunteers who receive training from the Boynton Beach Fire & Rescue Department and the Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management. It includes fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. The C.E.R.T. program is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.).
Pugliese notes that more than 30 Hunters Run volunteers currently participate in the program. “Each of our volunteers helps ensure we can face emergencies and avoid catastrophes. The key to our success is preparedness. To that end, many of our C.E.R.T. [volunteers] have walkie-talkies to facilitate communication. And at least one [member] of our team can always communicate directly with the fire department.”
Commenting on the program, Hunters Run General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Larry Savvides said, “I am very proud to have the C.E.R.T. program at Hunters Run and our C.E.R.T. volunteers who step up to assist others in the community, especially when professional responders are not readily available. Their training also enables them to participate in various related emergency preparedness projects with other response agencies. We owe them a great deal of gratitude.”
Palm Beach County’s Division of Emergency Management will be holding C.E.R.T. training classes on Jan. 5 and 31, from 6 to 9 p.m., and April 3 and 26, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Lake Worth Campus of Palm Beach State College.
Pugliese also points out that in addition to its preparedness responsibilities, C.E.R.T. handles crowd control for Hunters Run’s Wellness Walk and the Boynton Beach Barrier Free Park event.