February 28, 2022

The Virginia Beach Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Is Recruiting New Members

Interested? Learn more at an awareness and introduction seminar March 8.

​Emergencies happen quickly and without warning. While first responders are there to help, they may not always be able to provide immediate assistance to everyone, particularly during a large-scale incident. But, you can make a difference in your community and become better prepared to respond to emergency situations right here in Virginia Beach by joining the Community Emergency Response Team (VBCERT).

The goal of VBCERT is to provide no-cost training and hands-on exercises to empower residents with basic disaster response skills so that they can assist themselves, family members, neighbors, or co-workers during an emergency, even before first responders arrive.

VBCERT members provide critical initial support to their neighbors and communities by providing immediate assistance to victims, organizing spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site, and collecting disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts. In Virginia Beach, VBCERT volunteers also help with other emergency management efforts such as aiding emergency shelter operations (including pet shelters), search and recovery operations, dispensing food and water, crowd/traffic management for city sponsored events, and providing disaster resilience, preparedness, response and recovery training opportunities for Virginia Beach residents and businesses.

A VBCERT awareness and introduction seminar for those interested in learning more about VBCERT will be held at the Virginia Beach Fire & Rescue Training Center on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, from 6-8 p.m. Registration is available at virginiabeach.gov/vbcert.

"This training is ideal for anyone interested in becoming more resilient to the disasters and large-scale emergencies that may impact them and their neighbors," said Joe Corley, CERT coordinator for the Virginia Beach Office of Emergency Management. "VBCERT offers a proactive and rewarding way to make a difference in our community."

VBCERT training starts with a basic course. The first course this year will begin on March 15 and conclude on April 23 with a half-day skill proficiency exercise. Classes will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-9 p.m. A second basic course will also be offered starting on Monday, Sept. 12.

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