The Newport Beach Fire Department’s Community Emergency Response Team — CERT — won the 2012 Individual and Community Preparedness Award for Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team Initiatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to a city news release.
FEMA also awarded the program with an Honorable Mention in the Volunteer Integration Category and named it the winner of the Outstanding Initiatives award, said Karen Tringali, a Corona del Mar resident and CERT board member.
“The national recognition of our city’s CERT Program is an amazing honor and would not have been possible without program leadership, city support and most importantly the commitment and passion that inspire our volunteers to work day in and day out, tirelessly promoting preparedness and safety practices in their homes, within their neighborhoods and throughout the city at large,” Tringali said in an email. “As volunteers, we are proud of what we have accomplished, and pledge to continue our work on innovative and resourceful preparedness projects.”
Newport Beach Fire Department representatives will be FEMA’s honored guests at a community roundtable event in Washington, D.C., according to a city news release. The roundtable will focus on sharing “innovative and successful approaches to community preparedness with emergency management leadership,” the news release said.
Newport Beach Fire Chief Scott Poster said in a statement that the department was “honored and grateful for the national recognition of our CERT program, particularly the dedicated team of citizen volunteers who stand by prepared to respond and support the Newport Beach community.”
“We know our CERT group is second to none and now the nation knows it,” Mayor Nancy Gardner said in a statement. “This is a wonderful honor and recognition for these dedicated volunteers.”
The CERT program has more than 1,000 volunteers in the city’s 156 neighborhoods, giving Newport Beach the highest per-capita volunteer-to-resident ratio in the state. CERT volunteers are trained by firefighters and lifeguards throughout the year, and those volunteers work with their neighbors in order to be prepared for disasters and emergencies.
For more information on CERT classes, click here or call (949) 644-3112.