History of Quad City CERT

Banding together as a team in June of 2003, the four communities
began the cooperative effort to create the QUAD CITY CERT. Under the
direction of the Executive Board, committees developed procedures for
training, team activation, transportation, communication, and mass
inoculation. The team created a website, an on-line database; and
By-Laws. It was awarded two FEMA grants which were used to purchase
necessary equipment including a fire training unit, a trailer, CERT
disaster kits, and other emergency related supplies. A mass
inoculation drill was held in April, 2005 with 120 workers getting 300
volunteer victims through the system. The Quad City CERT includes 11
certified instructors; 280 trained members; and over 500 reserve
volunteers. In 2008, over 2,636 hours of volunteer time was logged!
Training is on-going and new volunteers are always welcome!

The History of CERT

The Community Emergency Response Team concept was developed and
implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985.
The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide
threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the
need to for training civilians to meet their immediate needs. As a
result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the
purpose of training citizens, as well as private and government
employees.

The training program that LAFD initiated is an important program and
furthers the process of citizens understanding their responsibility in
preparing for disaster. It also increases their ability to safely help
themselves, their families and their neighbors. The Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes the importance of preparing
citizens. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and National Fire
academy adopted and expanded the CERT materials for all hazards.

The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it. This
individual will be better prepared to respond and cope with the
aftermath of a disaster. Additionally, if a community wants to
supplement its response capability after a disaster, civilians can be
recruited and trained as neighborhood, business, and government teams
that, in essence, will be auxiliary responders.

These groups can provide immediate assistance to victims in their
area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not had the training,
and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional
responders with prioritization and allocation of resources following a
disaster. Since 1993 when this training was made available nationally
by FEMA, Communities in 28+ states and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT
training.