Evaluation of Boca Raton Fire Rescue Services Community Emergency Response Team Preparedness [open pdf - 116KB]
"Through the years, presidents have called upon Americans to assist their country by volunteering in various ways. A new wave of volunteerism occurred after the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001. Americans were asked to volunteer for the betterment of their country through the Citizen Corps program. One of the core programs associated with Citizen Corps was the Community Emergency Response Team program, also known as CERT. Boca Raton Fire Rescue Services (BRFRS) started offering the CERT program to its citizens after hurricane Andrew. Although BRFRS has trained over 250 residents in the CERT program, coordinators did not know if CERT participants were ready to respond after a disaster or work within the department's incident command structure. This project employed an evaluative research method to answer the following questions: 1. Are CERT members prepared to respond after a disaster? 2. Are CERT members able to work within the Incident Command System? 3. What can Boca Raton Fire Rescue Services do to improve CERT preparedness? The procedure used a literature review, a survey of 250 CERT members in Boca Raton regarding their comfort level as a CERT member, and their understanding of the Incident Command System (ICS). The research showed that the majority of respondents were comfortable with their roles following a disaster and the workings of ICS. The area of greatest need was educating team members on where their designated meeting spot was located for team deployment after a disaster. Recommendations were made to provide additional training to all CERT members, and to continue reinforcing roles and responsibilities of CERT members after a disaster."
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/