During the storms of 2011 and 2012, many in Mendham Township expressed frustration and helplessness as Irene and Sandy ravaged the community. Now, for those who want to take action during the next crisis, an outlet is available.
Residents can now join Mendham's Emergency Response Team as a member of CERT, the Citizen Emergency Response Team.
CERT is a volunteer citizen response team trained to assist emergency responders under the direction of the OEM Coordinator in local emergencies.
According to Nick Witczak, the Mendham Township Deputy Coordinator for Mendham Office of Emergency Management are looking for volunteers to attend the class and become a part of the first CERT team for the Mendhams.
"The class is open to any resident of the Mendhams," Witczak said. "No experience is necessary, there is no cost to anyone wishing to participate in it."
According to Witczak, the Office of Emergency Management, which is run by both the Borough Coordinator Tom Berenback and the Township Coordinator Evan Thomas as well as Deputy Coordinators Leo Geary and Nick Witczak will be providing those volunteers with the necessary supplies and training in this class to be a CERT team member.
The CERT Team will be assisting OEM with various emergency management tasks such as running a shelter or running a point of distribution of supplies or
assisting local emergency response services in the event of a major disaster. The Mendham CERT team is a part of a larger network of Community
Emergency Response Teams across the country under the direction of
"The CERT team will be a major asset to us in the Office of
Emergency Management and a major resource for our towns to utilize in a
time of need," Witczak said. "The regular time commitment is small but the importance of having the team is great. Being a part of the CERT team is a great way to help neighbors in a time of need and truly will help to show how
resilient the Mendhams can be in that time."
Volunteers interested in joining Mendham's Emergency Response Team should contact Emergency Management Coordinators Evan Thomas, and Mendham-Chester Patch Person of the Year, at (201) 738-7881 or Tom Berenback at (973) 543-7786.
A free, 20 hour training course has been scheduled for Friday, Jan 25 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday Jan 26-27 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The trainings will be held at the Brookside EMS Building.