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North Arlington Creates Community Emergency Response Team

Councilman Tom Zammatore.
Councilman Tom Zammatore. Photo Credit:

NORTH ARLINGTON, N.J. — The North Arlington Mayor and Council unanimously approved creating a Community Emergency Response Team.

“During a large-scale disaster, the response of the Borough’s Police, DPW and Volunteer Emergency services may be delayed or overwhelmed by the nature and scope of an event,” according to the borough ordinance. “This leaves the citizens of the borough to provide for their own well-being and safety until first responders arrive. "This reality is the cornerstone of the North Arlington CERT.”

The ordinance was introduced by Councilman Tom Zammatore and seconded by Councilman Richard Hughes at the Oct. 8 council meeting.

“The goal of the CERT program is to provide our residents who complete the CERT training with the basic skills that they will need to provide for their personal safety and that of their family/neighbors,” the ordinance says. “It also prepares them to respond to the borough’s immediate needs in the aftermath of a disaster, when emergency services may be delayed or unavailable."By supplementing the borough’s emergency services capabilities, CERT can protect property using the basic techniques in this course.”

Members of CERT will be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Council and will not be paid.

Duties of CERT members:

  • Assisting as a shelter aid;
  • Assistance to emergency services teams in areas of record keeping, communications and logistical support;
  • Performing public assistance checks for senior citizens and disabled residents;
  • Assisting first responders or public work employees in non-hazardous duties at disaster scenes or during rescue operations as authorized by, and under the direction of, the OEM Coordinator;
  • Assisting with large non-emergency events within the borough such as parades, runs and similar events under the direction of and as authorized by the OEM Coordinator;
  • In the event of an emergency, CERT can be activated through the Borough Office of Emergency Management under the order of the OEM Coordinator or any member of the Local Emergency Planning Committee;
  • Requests for Planned or non-emergency events will be made directly to the CERT Team Chief or Deputy with notification to the OEM Coordinator and Borough Administrator.

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