By Tim Williams

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Almost 100 residents from neighborhoods across Baltimore are training to protect their communities.

It’s called the CERT Program and, as Tim Williams shows us, it teaches average citizens to be first responders.

It is the largest training class since the program’s beginning six years ago.  Ninety new recruits from Baltimore City have joined the ranks of CERT, now almost 400 members strong.

“CERT, which stands for the Community Emergency Response Team, started in 2005 and we train citizens across Baltimore City to be able to respond in case of a large disaster or an emergency,” said Office of Emergency Management spokesperson Scott Brillman.

Residents from neighborhoods around the city are learning to help fire and police take care of their own communities.  Motivated by Hurricane Katrina, Tammy Mayer is a new CERT member.

“The disasters around the world and now coming into the United States with terrorism and things like that, I wanted to know more about how I can help,” Mayer said.

Donning the protective turnout gear and attempting to extinguish one fire, Tim Williams gained an instant respect for the work of the rescue workers and recruits.  Even recent emergencies have launched CERT members into action.

“Yes, the snowstorms last year.  We shoveled out the fire hydrants and bus stops on the Garrison and Liberty area,” said David Muhammad, CERT team leader.

CERT training will be offered every quarter.  For more information, email or call 443-829-7958.

Comments (4)
  1. bernard mc kernan says:

    Do I smell eventual vigilante justice brewing here folks?

  2. mike smith says:

    No, idiot, you don’t. Can’t you respect a few people who are interested in helping their community?

  3. BERnard mc kernan says:

    Mike, Name calling will get u nowhere with me hoss. Helping out eh? with the emphasis on OUT!

  4. Brian W. says:

    I think the CERT volunteer program will be a big success! i am gonna go for it. after all i was a volunteer firefighter.

    and BERnard mc kernan, please keep your negativity and negative comments to yourself

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