R.I.P. Mike Colaiacovo Jr. You will be Missed by Many.
(See our Tribute to Mike on our Tribute Page.)
Hamden CERT steps up to help during the
COVID-19 Pandemic with Food Distributions for over 1,200 families since March!
"With the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency, our primary mission will now be to support the Food Distribution Events and help with deliveries of food items to residents who are not able to leave their homes!"
Hamden CERT prepared, Ready & Equipped to assist Emergency Management with the COVID-19 National Emergency
As summer has now arrived and we hope for less social distancing and restrictions, we would just like to share with you what Hamden CERT has been accomplishing over the last 3 months, during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Since the FEMA sponsored, Community Emergency Response Team Program (CERT) is all about helping our community, as our purpose, we have been very busy.
Just to review, the CERT Program is a 3-fold program with specific goals. First, members make sure to protect and secure themselves and their family during any emergency. Second, when able to, members reach out to their neighbors to support any needs. Third, when safe and available, members reach out and connect with other team members to supply any assets or support to their community as part of the trained and certified team. With the lack of community events that we are accustom to over the past years like Fireworks, Concerts, Food Truck Festivals and other major events, many of our members were concerned about what other activities we could support. In reviewing the first half of year (2019) compared to what we have done over the last 12 weeks, it was very surprising to see what has transpired!
Last year Hamden CERT Members contributed over 600 service hours from January to August, supporting community events. This year starting with the pandemic impact starting around the middle of March, our volunteers have provided much needed support to many of the vital services required by our community members. I would like to share with you what the dedicated volunteers of Hamden CERT have accomplished over the last 15 weeks.
Food Distribution – 7 total events, packaging & distribution – 535 Hours, serving over 2,000 meals to needy families. (Averaging 250 to 400 cars per event)
Points of Distribution for PPE – 12 POD’s totaling – 155 Hours, distributing hundreds of face masks and thermal thermometers to area small business owners.
Food Deliveries, Assisting Hamden Elderly Services – 10 Deliveries – 70 Hours – making weekly deliveries every Tuesday to homebound elderly residents throughout Hamden.
The mission statement of Hamden CERT is all about people helping people and as you can see, we take pride for the fact that we work alongside our First Responders and are also an exclusive part of Hamden Emergency Management. (See below.)
Mission Statement – Hamden, Ct. CERT
The mission of the Hamden Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program is to assist our families, neighbors and community, along with our local Police & Fire Departments when needed. Our team is fully certified, trained and available to provide logistical support for any large-scale emergency or planned community event that would deplete the on-duty first responder personnel.
Hamden CERT is also the volunteer branch of Hamden OEM (Office of Emergency Management). Members are always available to assist all operations of Hamden’s EOC (Emergency Operations Center) and trained to manage any Mass Care Sheltering Operations, Points of Distribution for food, water or medications or any other logistical needs!
Hamden CERT Members were also able to support the Grace & St. Peters Episcopal Church: “Dinner for a Dollar” in collecting $570 from our CERT Members to support and serve 2 dinners, serving close to 200 community members! During this time, we were also able to assist our Hamden Fire Department Personnel, with logistical support and rehabilitation services during the 3 weeks of Live Burn Training that was held during the month of May, totaling 150 hours. As we head into the month of July, we are now preparing and planning for the “Drive-by Hamden High School Graduation” where we will be assisting with the logistics of directing and parking over 400 vehicles that will drive by the portable stage at Hamden Town Center Park and allow the graduates to receive their diploma’s.
“I’m sure that I speak for all of our members when I say: thank you to Mayor Leng, Chief Merwede, Fire Department Staff and Personnel for allowing our members to participate and be part of the team that provides so many vital services to our community on a daily basis.” It is always an honor to serve alongside of our First Responders, especially during this national emergency and trying times over the last few months. “Please remember to be safe and do your part, for all of us during this difficult time. We are all in this together!”
R.J. Freeman Jr.
Hamden CERT Members were invited to a Special Training Session at Vinal Tech High School in Middletown on February 29, 2020.
Our Hamden CERT Members would like to thank our teammate Jay Cruickshank and his son Dave for a great information session today during our visit to Vinal Tech High School in Middletown, CT. Department Head, Dave Cruickshank is the Lead Instructor of the Criminal Justice and Emergency Management Program offered at Vinal Tech. It was an honor for 14 of our team members to meet with many of Dave’s Students who presented an outstanding demonstration of their personal capabilities and the equipment that allows them to produce all the charts, graphs and any information needed to manage any major incident that may occur. They were not only great kids but they are outstanding students who again volunteered their time, (on their days off) to organize this outstanding presentation. This was just another example of the many hours that they have volunteered to make this program flourish in only 3 years of operation!
As you can see by the pictures displayed, their EOC/Classroom would be the desire of any municipality, state run facility or emergency management team! These high school students who were selected to participate in this program displayed dedication and teamwork that was beyond anyone’s imagination! After a full tour of the facility and equipment used, we were given an up to date handout and presentation of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Incident, that has drawn our attention over the last few weeks and could have an impact for us in the future. This is just one example of the many training sessions that our Hamden CERT Members participate in, on a regular basis to keep us well-informed of the latest incidents or concerns that could impact our local community. Thank you again to Jay and Dave Cruickshank for making this training session available and also for the lunch that they provided for us! This was another indispensable training that helped our CERT Members understand the possibilities we may encounter and the functions that may be required of us, for our community.
Hamden CERT Members joined Hamden Police, Hamden Volunteer Firefighters and the Hamden Police Explorers for the Annual Holiday Food & Toy Drives!
Thank you to Hamden Police Captain Kevin Samperi, Lieutenant John Sullivan and other members of the Hamden Police Department for the organization of the Hamden Holiday Toy Drive that took place over Saturday & Sunday at the Hamden Mart! A “Special Thanks” goes out to Don & Chris Buchelle who made this Toy Drive possible with the help of the folks at our Walmart! Thank you also to the Hamden Volunteer Firefighters who were at Stop & Shop and received many donations for the Holiday Food Drive that will aid so many folks in need this Holiday Season! “Thank you Quinnipiac University” for your very generous donation, you guys went above and beyond and it’s so appreciated!
Last but not least, “Thank you to our 14 CERT Members” who volunteered a good part of their weekend to make sure that there will be many Hamden Children who will be very happy this Christmas morning! We were able to double our donations from last year and we thank everyone who took the time to stop and say Hi, purchased toys, emptied their ashtrays and those who really dug deep to make so many generous donations to this great cause! You are the folks who made it happen! All the members of Hamden CERT wish you, your family and friends a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Safe Holiday Season! Hamden Proud! 🎅
The Members of Hamden CERT wish all our followers a Merry Christmas & a Very Happy, Healthy & Safe Holiday Season!
We were happy to support the 2019 Annual Hamden Silver Bells Holiday Celebration at Town Center Park on Saturday, December 7th 2019.
Congratulations to the Members of Hamden Class #16 on their Graduation,
October 16, 2019
Congratulations to our newest members from Hamden CERT Class #16. Their graduation ceremony took place at the Dunbar Hill Fire Station #8, along with their family and friends. We thank them for their commitment and dedication in learning the skills needed to make a difference during any emergency or disaster. Thank you also to CT. StateRegion 2 OEM Director Jake Manke and many of our veteran members for stopping by to support our graduates. We look forward to working along with them in the future during any emergency activations or community planned events.
Photos by Team Member John Homer
Congratulations to Hamden CERT on their National Recognition in the latest issue of
"CERT Responder Magazine!"
Congratulations to the Members of Hamden CERT on their National Recognition in the latest issue of "CERT Responder Magazine"! Thank you to Mayor Curt Leng and Fire Chief Gary Merwede for your support of our dedicated members and our community service program!
April 25, 2019
Thanks to Our Team Members who participated in a full day of training at the CT. Emergency Management Symposium!
Thank you Team Members for coming out today to spend a full day at the 2019 CT. Emergency Management Symposium in Cromwell. It was a great day with excellent subject matter and outstanding speakers! We learned a great deal about Emergency Management Operations that will benefit our team, our community and our operations at any major weather event or other emergency that could expand into a multi operational period incident. Thanks for taking time off from work and rearranging your schedules to attend this informative presentation. It's your dedication to our team that makes us the proficient team that we are! Hopefully, some of our members who couldn’t join us today, can join us next year.
Thank you to Porto's Tire of Hamden for their generous donation to Hamden CERT!
Thank you to Porto's Tire Service of Hamden, CT. for their generous donation of 4 Chrome Wheel Covers for our Hamden CERT Emergency Response Vehicle! A Special "Thank You" goes out to Hamden CERT Member Marc Goldberg for making this happen! We truly appreciate your recognition of our service to the Hamden community and are proud to have you as a member of our team!
Hamden CERT assist Samaritan's Purse with Disaster Relief after the Tornado of 2018!
Hamden CERT Members had the opportunity to assist the volunteers from “Samaritan’s Purse Relief Organization” in assisting homeowners recover from the damage caused by the tornado and storms of May 15th. Multiple teams headed out to Hamden, North Haven and Wallingford in assisting homeowners with the cutting of hazardous trees, limbs, branches and removal of storm debris.
Appreciative and amazed are two of the comments that we heard over and over durning our many days of deployments. Thankful beyond words and happy tears were not uncommon with the people we served. Rewarding and fulfilling were the feelings that we experienced in helping these folks and assisting them with their long road to recovery. The damage to our community is extensive and working alongside these outstanding volunteers from all over the country was a blessing that goes beyond words. A Special Thank you to Pastor Jim Detweiler of Hope Church, North Haven for the use of their facilities and to Chick-Fil-A, North Haven for supplying us with a great meal on Saturday, June 23rd for the workers and the folks that we served, during that day.
"A Special Thank You goes out to our Hamden CERT Members" who volunteered over 100 service hours assisting the members of Samaritan's Purse. It was an honor and privilege to be part of the team from “Samaritan’s Purse” who have helped folks from all over the area. Again, thank you to all the members of “Samaritan’s Purse” for the blessings that you provided for so many of our neighbors, in their time of need! We will always remember you for your fine example of people helping people!
"Thank you to Our Friends from the Hamden Rotary Club!"
The members of the Hamden Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) would like to thank the Officers, Directors and Members of the Hamden Rotary Club for their ongoing support of our program. We are honored to work alongside of the Rotary Members for the common, civic goals of making our community a better, healthier and safer place for all of us! We are privileged to have the opportunity to work along side of our Hamden Rotary for the betterment of our community!
Thank you Dunbar Hill Station #8 Members!
We would like to take the time to send a special thanks to the members of the
Dunbar Hill Fire Company #8 for their hospitality and opening their meeting hall to our Hamden CERT Members for our monthly meetings and trainings. Their generous proposal allows us to hold our basic training classes there also.
Their generosity allows us to have a place to hold all of our activities and also have a place to call home!
The funds raised by the rental of their hall are used for the upkeep & improvements of their station and equipment. If you know of anyone who is interested in the rental of the hall, please contact them through the information provided below. "We sincerely thank the membership of Dunbar Hill Station #8 Volunteers for reaching out to us and proving again the affiliation and teamwork of Volunteer Emergency Services helping our community to be a better and safer place!"
The primary mission of Hamden CERT is to assist the community after major disasters when first responders, who normally provide fire and medical services, will be unable to meet the increased demand for their services.
Factors such as increased number of casualties, communication failures, road blockages, and damaged infrastructure will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment's notice through dialing 911. Our residents and visitors will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life- saving and life-sustaining needs. This is when and where CERT volunteers would step up and provide our community with the emergency care and skills needed to help them stay safe until additional services can be provided.
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PRE-PLANNED COMMUNITY EVENTS
Our goal is to educate our residents and make all of our citizens aware of the need to be prepared and to assist our neighbors and first responders when needed.
As a volunteer community organization, we constantly reach out to the public. We have assisted our town and its residents at many annual community events, including; Hamden Town Road Race, Hamden Expo, Earth Day, Summer Concert Series, Food Truck Festivals and the Annual Fireworks Celebration.
We are proud to be the recipients of the Hamden Chamber of Commerce's 2012 Award for Service Organization of the Year!
Hamden CERT Upcoming Events
Please be advised because of the restrictions of public assembly due to the COVID-19 National Emergency, many of the planned community events have been postponed or canceled. We will keep you updated and advise you as we get updated information!
"We are all in this together, please do your part to Flatten the Curve!"