Chief James G. Downes III
23 Pleasant Street
PO Box 154
Dunstable, MA 01827
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Dunstable Police Seeking Civic-Minded Residents to Join the Community Emergency Response Team
Vital Role in Community Service and Disaster Preparedness
The Dunstable Police Department is seeking community-oriented individuals to become part of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). CERT volunteers make Dunstable a safer place to live and assist their families, neighbors, and their community when preparing for and responding to natural disasters. They also perform many other critical tasks, such as community patrolling and participating in police ride alongs.
“The CERT team is a branch between the community and the police department that tries to keep our town safer, more prepared, and more resilient when incidents occur,” said Chief James G. Downes III. “This is a great opportunity for those interested in law enforcement to join the police department at an entry-level and become a uniformed presence in the community.”
Volunteers will be required to attend monthly training in many fields ranging from CPR to evidence searches to natural disaster response, but will also receive hands-on experience outside the classroom. Members will get the chance to meet and interact with individuals within the community and gain valuable insight into other public safety positions. Experience is not required! Currently the 16-member team includes teachers, chemists, students, and paramedics.
The CERT team is an organized structure that does everything from aiding in searches to providing traffic control to attending town events. Unlike many other nationwide CERT programs, the Dunstable team is part of the police department and the two work closely together. In fact, each year, the Chief of Police considers sponsoring interested high-performing individuals to a Reserve Police Officer Police Academy Class, which is an important step for those interested in a career as a police officer.
The CERT concept was started by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985 for the sole purpose of having members of the community respond and assist during and following major natural disasters. Often times, first responders, such as police and fire departments, are unable to meet the demands and challenges immediately after disasters occur, so they sometimes rely on the citizens of the community to volunteer their time to help provide additional assistance. Neighborhood preparedness enhances the ability of individuals and neighborhoods to reduce their emergency needs and manage their existing resources until professional assistance becomes available.
So help out today by volunteering for the CERT team to make Dunstable a safer place to live! Anyone who is involved in the community or wants to become more involved can apply by calling Chief Downes at 978-649-8891 ext. 221, or visiting www.dunstable-ma.gov. Recruits must pass a police background check. Click here to download the application!