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NJ Office of Emergency Management
Colonel Rick Fuentes Major Jerome Hatfield
Superintendent, New Jersey State Police
State Director of Emergency Management
Commanding Officer, Emergency Management

Nicholas J. Morici (609) 882-2000 x 6209
June 02, 2008


Chief John Schmidig of the Bergen County Office of Emergency Management is proud to announce the graduation of their second Special Needs Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Class. Working in partnership with the Bergen County Department of Human Services - Division of Disability Services Director James Thebery M.A., CSW, 20 people with disabilities were trained to be a part of the County’s Office of Emergency Management and prepared to respond during times of crises. A graduation ceremony was held at the Bergen County Plaza in Hackensack to recognize their achievement and completion of the program.

CERT is a program that prepares people in communities, schools and the workplace to be prepared and ready when disasters hit. The training consists of 8 weeks and 20 hours of instruction in disaster preparedness, fire suppression, medical operations, search and rescue, disaster psychology, CERT organization and terrorism awareness. All members of this Special Needs class completed the training and obtained the necessary information and skills to save themselves , their families and their communities.

The State of New Jersey wants ALL of our citizens to be prepared and our Nation leading Citizen Corps Program provides the opportunity for all to get involved. New Jersey leads the Nation with over 400 CERT Programs consisting of over 15,000 citizens. Bergen County leads the State with over 2,000 CERT trained citizens with additional classes planned for the future. On hand for the graduation were members of the Bergen County Office of Emergency Management, Lt. Dwayne Razzetti, Sgt. Barry Leventhal and Officer Gidget Petry and well as Trooper James Dunham from the NJ State Police Office of Emergency Management.

For additional information on Citizen Corps please visit the website www.citizencorps.gov or the State Office of Emergency Management website at www.ready.nj.gov. People interested in participating in CERT can contact their County Office of Emergency Management or call 609-963-6964.



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