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Emergency response course offered

MANALAPAN — Following major emergency events, first responders who provide fire, medical and community safety services will have to establish priorities for the use of their response resources.

Individual preparedness, as well as the ability to safely and effectively assist others, allows members of the community to care for themselves until more help arrives.

The federal government began promoting the nationwide use of organized Medical Reserve Corps (MRCs) and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) in 1992 as two means to connect the professional response community with the people they serve, according to a press release from the Manalapan Health Department.

The CERT program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical (emergency first aid) operations, according to the press release.

Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, persons trained in CERT can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

CERT trained persons also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community, according to the press release.

The Manalapan MRC-CERT is offering its annual 20-hour CERT training program starting on Feb. 9 in town hall at 7 p.m. Enrollment and materials are free and participation is open to individuals 16 years of age or older.

Individuals who are 16 and 17 years old may participate with a signed permission slip and waiver from their parents.

Upon completion of the course, participants will be invited to join the Manalapan MRC-CERT team, although doing so is not a requirement.

Persons interested in the training should contact the Manalapan Health Department at 732-446-8345 or health@mtnj.org by Feb. 5.

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