HomeCity NewsGFD Lauds Emergency Volunteers, Seeks More Members

GFD Lauds Emergency Volunteers, Seeks More Members

The Glendale Community Emergency Response Team is seeking new volunteers to join its dynamic program to help support the Glendale Fire Department and serve the community if disaster should strike.
During a presentation to City Council last week, GFD Capt. Tom Nicola highlighted the CERT team, noting the members’ dedication to the effort.
“The Glendale CERT or Glendale Community Emergency Response Team is a group of highly motivated and dedicated volunteers I recently had the privilege to teach and witness their passion for service, with over 160 volunteers representing organizations like HOAs, high school students and individuals like Mayor Brotman,” Nicola said at the meeting. “Their calling is as simple as ours at the GFD — help citizens in need.”
He urged other community members to join the program.
Interested volunteers can register for a 24-hour course that begins online and then continues with hands-on training, which gives a basic framework of skills and information “that empowers them to go out and make a difference.”
Nicola said volunteers are given a class on topics ranging from disaster preparedness, disaster psychology, first aid, search and rescue, and how they can help themselves and assist the fire department and the city when a disaster strikes. In an emergency, he said, first responders are deployed to assist wherever the greatest need is determined.
Accompanying Nicola to the meeting were the department’s most recent graduates from last month’s CERT class and leadership team.
“Together they have volunteered their time, skills and money teaching classes, attending meetings and GFD training exercises and showing up to represent CERT at community events,” Nicola said. “On behalf of the Glendale Fire Department, I sincerely thank them for this sacrifice and noble endeavor as we cannot accomplish this alone. This program faces challenges in today’s environment where people’s time and finances are scarce resources.”
The GFD, along with CERT leadership team volunteers, are currently looking at ways they can grow its members and provide the needed training and tools.
“The CERT programs make these volunteers better prepared, trained and capable of making a difference in a disaster,” Nicola said.
Currently, through grants secured by the office of Emergency Services and Management, Nicola said the GFD has three storage pods strategically located in vulnerable communities that can help provide some of the necessary tools for CERT volunteers to help until more resources can arrive in event of a natural disaster.
“The office of Emergency Services and Management has assembled a pivotal team of leaders looking at ways to engage, grow and foster a sense of belonging that comes with knowing we are all better together,” Nicola said.
Last year, the GFD responded to more than 22,000 emergency calls.
“Helping citizens in their most significant time of need is an honor we cherish,” Nicola said.

First published in the May 27 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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