Small towns in the United States oftentimes require supplementary support for emergency response workers in the case that a natural disaster strikes unexpectedly. While many low population municipalities have quality police and fire departments, the assistance and relief that need to be provided in the wake of a catastrophe may overwhelm existing emergency personnel.
Consequently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed a countrywide initiative in which regular citizens from a range of municipalities are trained as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to assist existing emergency staff with preparedness, response and recovery initiatives.
These individuals attend free classes and are equipped with valuable skills like light rescue, fire safety and basic medical procedures to extend the service provided during and after a natural disaster.
The city of Fostoria, Ohio is one such municipality that could certainly benefit from the additional help with a population of just over 12,000.
However, according to a report in local news source the Review Times, a CERT training program was scheduled to be undertaken in Fostoria this past weekend, it had to be cancelled because only four citizens enrolled. The course requires nine participants.
"We'll have to look at if there's something we can do potentially encourage people better to participate," said Fostoria Fire Chief Keith Loreno in the article. "We certainly want to keep our door open to that organization because we feel it deserves our merit."
One way to garner more interest in these initiatives is by turning to a certified disaster preparedness consulting firm. With significant experience spearheading preparedness programs, these professionals can help design eye catching education programs – for example, something like the "Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse" program being offered at Michigan State University – to appeal to a much wider audience of potential participants.