Wood County CERT Logo Wood County
Community Emergency Response Team

Frequently-Asked
Questions

A nationally accredited, formally trained organization of local citizen
volunteers working with First Responders to help grow and strengthen
the public safety network in Wood County
Please note: All the information on this website refers to what Wood County CERT was trying to be before it was
shut down in April 2014, and what we intend to be when if and when the program is ever re-activated.

Frequently Asked Questions

On this page we attempt to address some of the questions we are frequently asked. If you have questions about our program, please send them to Director Rick Sawyer at rick.sawyer@woodcert.org, and we will attempt to answer them as quickly as possible.

Q. Are members of Wood County CERT considered First Responders?
A. No, Wood County CERT members are not First Responders. We are private citizens who believe that we have a responsibility to ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our friends to be prepared and trained to assist in the event of a wide-spread community emergency when first responders may be overwhelmed or otherwise unable to immediately respond. That being said, a number of individual CERT members are firefighters, EMTs, or paramedics. For a more detailed answer, please go here.
Q. If you are not first responders, why do some of your members have emergency lights on their personal vehicles?
A.  Many CERT members are also Firefighters, EMTs, or Paramedics with volunteer fire departments. These individuals have red emergency lights on their vehicles. A number of our members choose to have amber lights on their vehicles because as trained concerned citizens, we often need to stop in or near traffic to assist accident victims until first responders arrive, to assist citizens who are having vehicle problems, or when engaging in search and rescue operations, or we are sometimes asked to direct traffic for emergency responders. We also often serve as pilot, safety, sweep, or traffic control vehicles for community events such as parades or bicycle/foot races on city streets. The warning lights are for the safety of others and ourselves. A few of our vehicles are designated as command and control vehicles; these are usually identified by green lights.
Q. Why do some of you wear uniforms?
A. Uniforms are a symbol of unity and conformity. They show the public that the wearer is part of a group of people working towards the same goal. From the Boy and Girls Scouts of America to the Salvation Army, to the US Military, uniforms show solidarity and pride.

Groups that have a need to wear a uniform do so for a variety of reasons. Agencies that are directly involved with the public such as law enforcement, EMS agencies, and the like need to present a professional appearance to help instill confidence in the communities that they serve. If you can imagine an agency where every member wore different shirts, pants, or shoes, you can also imagine how much less respect and confidence the public would have in that agency.

The CERT uniform lets the public know who we are and, with a little education, what our goal is. Compared with the 86,452-person population of Wood County [US Census Bureau statistics as of 2015], our numbers are small, but our abilities are many. It is vital that we show the public at every opportunity that we are organized and professional. Every time a citizen or member of another agency sees a member of CERT, they are evaluating us. The public gauges their confidence in our team by not only what we do but how we look doing it. The fact that our members take the time and expense to wear a common uniform lets the community know that we are serious about our work with CERT and that we do not take our “jobs” in CERT lightly.

Our “casual” uniforms identify us to the community and to each other as members of the CERT organization. Our “duty” uniforms portray our purpose in day-to-day operations and training. On some occasions we may be asked to provide help with ceremonies or other high-profile events. Higher-profile events can be “happy” events such as a facility dedication, or somber events like funerals.

Because not all of us in CERT participate at the same level of activity [more here], and because of the personal expense of purchasing and maintaining a uniform and our personal safety equipment, we have made the uniform optional for our members.

Page last updated Wednesday April 15, 2020 11:51 AM -0400
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

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