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UST Student is 20,000th Harris County CERT Member

The Harris County Citizen Corps Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, program has reached a milestone of 20,000 trained members on March 7 with the graduation of its latest students from the University of St. Thomas.

The UST CERT is made up of 51 students, all members of the Health Occupations Students of America. The class contains the 20,000th graduate since the program’s inception in 2003.

“Harris County’s CERT program is one of the strongest in the nation,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “The cornerstone of that success is a strong commitment to individual and community preparedness.”

The UST team, like all CERT members, has undergone an extensive eight-week emergency preparedness course taught by first-responders. The training makes them proficient in safety basics they can use in their homes, schools, workplace and communities.

“Harris County continues to support disaster preparedness through the Citizen Corps program and its community teams,” added Judge Emmett. “Trained volunteers are essential partners in disaster preparedness, response and recovery.”

The CERT program teaches disaster preparedness and basic response skills in fire safety and suppression, search and rescue tactics, and disaster medical operations. Following training, CERT members are qualified to assist during emergencies when first responders are not immediately available.

The Harris County Citizen Corps membership includes 20,000 trained volunteers involved in 250 Community Emergency Response Teams; 21,537 volunteers from 24 Volunteers in Police Service agencies; 3,727 volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps; 5,515 volunteers from the 336 neighborhoods participating in the USAonWatch program; and 24 Fire Corps programs.

The CERT program’s success is due in large part to its growing partnership with first responders, non-profit agencies, community organizations and all its volunteers.

To join Harris County Citizen Corps, or for more information about the CERT program, visit harriscountycitizencorps.org or call (281) JOIN NOW (564-6669). 

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The University of St. Thomas is committed to the safety and security of all community members and visitors. The University received a $245,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to create a comprehensive plan to develop, review, improve and fully integrate campus-based all-hazards emergency management and business continuity plans. The campus community should “Be Aware, Be Prepared and Take Action!”

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