Harris County CERT Reaches 50K Milestone

Harris County CERT Reaches 50K Milestone

April 29 2023

The Harris County Citizen Corps’ Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program has reached a milestone surpassing 50,000 individuals trained from both the adult CERT program and the Teen CERT program.

All CERT individuals have undergone an extensive eight-week emergency preparedness course taught by first responders. The training makes them proficient in safety basics that they can use in their homes, schools, workplace and communities.

“The Harris County CERT program continues to be one of the strongest in the nation,” said Harris County Citizen Corps Director Mark Sloan. “Every single one of the individuals trained plays an essential role 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, disaster medical operations, and homeland security awareness. Following training, CERT individuals are able to assist during emergencies when first responders are not immediately available. The Teen CERT program trains students in emergency preparedness and response to ensure students have the skills needed to protect themselves and assist others in the event of an emergency.

“As the number of trained individuals increases, our community will continue to become stronger and more resilient,” added Sloan.

The Harris County Citizen Corps volunteers includes 50,809 trained volunteers which are involved in over 276 Community Emergency Response Teams; 22,174 volunteers from 24 Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) agencies; 4,165 volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps; 6,187 volunteers from the 351 neighborhoods participating in the USAonWatch program; and 24 Fire Corps programs.

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

To join Harris County Citizen Corps or for more information about the CERT program go to harriscountycitizencorps.org. Harris County Citizen Corps news and updates are also available on Facebook.  

About Harris County Citizens Corp

Since Tropical Storm Allison, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike, the people of Harris County have acted with courage, compassion, and unity. To capture the spirit of service we have encouraged residents to dedicate at least two years of their lives—the equivalent of 4,000 hours—in service to others. The Harris County Citizen Corps Council coordinates with volunteer groups such as the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the United Way, and Citizen Corps programs to identify volunteer opportunities. The Citizen Corps programs include the Community Emergency Response Team, the Neighborhood Watch Program, Volunteers in Police Service, Fire Corps and the Medical Reserve Corps.    

Harris County Citizen Corps (HCCC) is committed to creating opportunities for people to volunteer to help our community prepare for and respond to emergencies. The primary goal is to have all citizens participate in making neighborhoods safer by providing them the tools and training needed for preventing and handling threats of terrorism, crime, and disasters of all kinds.  

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