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June 25. 2014 10:08PM

Emergency preparedness class offered for churches

PELHAM — Church communities can provide much comfort in times of need.

At the end of July, New England Pentecostal Ministries in Pelham will be expanding upon just what churches can provide their communities by hosting a free emergency preparedness training course for its clergy, parishioners and citizens.

The Community Emergency Response Training, or CERT, is an all-risk, all-hazard training course designed to help protect people in a wide range of emergency situations, according to Emily Martuscello of the office of emergency management in Nashua.

The Nashua emergency management office is offering the emergency response training along with New England Pentecostal Ministries and the Pelham Medical Reserve Corps.

The office of emergency management tries to involve the whole community when it comes to CERT, according to Martuscello.

“Our faith-based communities are a critical asset before, during, and after a disaster,” she said. “Members of faith-based organizations already have the mission to serve and a fantastic skill set as existing volunteers in their community.”

This course will be the first faith-based CERT course in the state, although there are already requests for future courses, Martuscello said.

“Nashua Office of Emergency Management has done other disaster preparedness courses for our faith-based organizations which have been a huge success,” she said. “Many of the organizations have had their members come through our CERT course.”

Although the focus of the two-day program on Saturday, July 26, and Saturday, Aug. 2, is on the faith-based community, the free CERT training is open to anyone over 18 and no prior experience is needed.

During the program, participants will learn how to provide basic medical aid, perform safe search and rescues for disaster victims, manage utilities and put out small fires, and prepare for natural and man-made disasters.

Those who complete the two-day program will receive a certificate from the New Hampshire Fire Academy, 20 contract hours, and a CERT emergency preparedness backpack.

“The biggest benefit to taking the course is learning how you and your family can be prepared for the everyday emergency,” said Martuscello. “We cover topics such has how to shut off your utilities, and everyone gets the opportunity to use a fire extinguisher. We teach people how to make and emergency kit and what you can do to help your neighbors.”

During a disaster local government resources can become overwhelmed. The CERT program can help more people help themselves and free up first responders to focus on critical needs, Martuscello said.

Anyone interested in signing up for the program can visit goo.gl/hbPWti or Contact the CERT team at cert@nashuanh.gov.


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