Tag Archives: Community Emergency Response Team

Unsung Heroes #157

Zulma Heidelberg writes:

My husband Ernie and I have been very active members of the Westport Community Emergency Response Team. He was CERT president for 13 years, and I helped him for a long time.

[NOTE: The Community Emergency Response Team is one of Westport’s most important — and unheralded — volunteer organizations. CERT provides aid during and after hurricanes, blizzards, power and communication failures — you name it. If Westport needs help, CERT is there.

They’re there for non-emergencies too. CERT assists at big public events, like the Compo Beach fireworks and Maker Faire. And they offer education programs in personal preparedness, active shooter awareness and response, and situations involving domestic and international terrorism.]

Westport CERT volunteers, at a training session.

In July, I got very sick and needed emergency surgery. I spent a week at Norwalk Hospital.

When I returned home my family was overwhelmed taking care of me around the clock, cooking and overseeing the household.

Mike Vincelli

We reached out to current CERT president Mike Vincelli and senior member Andrée Brooks. They immediately came to our rescue. They formed a “Food Train,” and for the following 4 weeks members cooked and delivered food to our door.

Friends and neighbors helped too.

We are infinitely grateful for the help we received.

CERT helps every Westporter — friends and strangers, old-timers and newcomers, and everyone in between. They “CERTainly” deserve kudos as Unsung Heroes of the Week! For more information on the organization, click here or email certwestport@gmail.com.

Zulma and Ernie Heidelberg. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

CERTainly You Can Help

In times of crisis — a hurricane, blizzard, prolonged power outage — most of us want to be safe and secure. If not, we want to be helped.

A few of us want to be the ones helping.

If you’ve ever wanted to be trained — for free! — in first aid, CPR, disaster psychology, search and rescue and other emergency skills, help is at hand.

CERT — Westport’s Community Emergency Response Team — is offering 20 hours of instruction. And you do not have to be a Westport resident to join.

Part of the CERT crew that keeps Westport safe.

Part of the CERT crew that keeps Westport safe.

Training takes place on Friday, February 24 (6:30 to 10:30 p.m.), Saturday, February 25 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday, February 26 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The site is Westport Police headquarters.

CERT is a little known but hugely important volunteer agency that supports our uniformed services like police, fire and EMS. It’s run in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security and Westport’s emergency management personnel.

For more information click here, email info@westportcert.org, or call Ernest Heidelberg at 203-226-0780.