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Hamden CERT, Annual Report 2021
The Hamden CERT Program had a very busy 17th year providing service to the Hamden Community during the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Because of the many demanding conditions caused by the pandemic, the Hamden CERT Members have continued to step up to assist many of our town partners with logistical and public safety support. Hamden CERT provided logistical support to Hamden Fire Department, Hamden Police Department, Hamden Community Services, Hamden Youth Center, the Hamden Mayor’s Office, Hamden Youth Services, Hamden Board of Education, Hamden Public Works along with other local Health Services, Places of Worship & Charitable Organizations.
Emergency Calls - 19. Emergency Activations included 12 related to the COVID-19 Pandemic: 9 Food Distributions & 3 Vaccination Clinics along with activations for 5 Multiple Alarm Structure Fires where we assisted displaced occupants and supplied rehabilitation services for our firefighters. (Unfortunately, 2 of these residential fires were Fatal Fires!) On 3 occasions in March & April, we assisted the Quinnipiac Valley Health District with COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics held at Thorton, Wilder Hall. Our team members totaled 840 service hours during emergency activations.
Planned Community Events –17, Now that we have partially recovered from some of the social distancing mandates at Community Events, we received 17 requests for assistance and logistical support for planned/scheduled events that included: assisting The Mayor’s Office with 3 Drive-in Movie Nights, a Food Truck Festival and the Annual Brooksvale Fall Festival. We also supported our Community Services Department and Hamden Volunteer Firefighters with 5 Holiday Toy & Food Drives. Our team members totaled 723 service hours during planned events.
Public Service/Public Education – 22, After our March Basic Training Class #17 was suspended because of the pandemic, we were able to complete it virtually for our civilian residents and concluded with their graduation on March 17th. Class #18 was conducted virtually also and graduated on April 8th. Class #19 was conducted in person and graduated on October 21st. We graduated over 34 individuals combined, from these 3 classes. Our services to the Hamden Department of Community Services and the Hamden Board of Education continued throughout the year with 2 days of Middle School Graduations in June, along with 9 of the Monthly BOE Food Distributions. Our team members totaled 414 service hours dedicated to Public Service and Public Education.
Team Meetings/Training Sessions – 9, As always, “Safety” is a priority for our community and also, our team members. We study all subjects that keep us aware of hazards as we stay focused on the safety of our community and our team members. Twenty-three (23) of our members attended an “Advanced First Aid Class that included: CPR & AED Recertification” sponsored by the students from: Quinnipiac University Emergency Management Services. Because of the many CDC COVID-19 restrictions, many of our meetings and trainings took place virtually through the Zoom Format. Our team members totaled 513 total hours dedicated to training, meetings and planning this year.
For more information on our program or the next upcoming free CERT Basic Training Class starting in February 2022 contact us on Facebook, Twitter or our website at: www.hamdencert.com
At this time, we would like to mention that our team suffered a devastating loss on November 29th when our Team Member Carol Teodosio, passed unexpectedly. Carol was the heart and soul of our Hamden CERT Program and will be missed and remembered forever for the caring, loving person that she was. She will always remain in our hearts for all she did for Her Brother & Sister CERT Members behind the scenes. Her support and dedication went far beyond our team activities, because of her love and devotion to the Hamden community.
RIP Carol Teodosio, you will never be forgotten!
We would like to thank Mayor Curt Leng, Fire Chief Gary Merwede, Assistant Fire Chief Charles Lubowicki, Police Chief John Sullivan and the Hamden Police Department, Hamden Legislative Council, Hamden Rotary Club, Dunbar Hill Volunteer Firefighters and the Hamden Community for their continuing support of the Hamden CERT Program. As always, it has been an honor to serve our community this year with 2,490 Service Hours and to work alongside of our Town Officials and our Police and Fire Department Personnel when called upon. We congratulate our new administration and look forward to our valuable relationship moving forward for the well-being of our community. As always, a special thanks goes out to the Members of The Dunbar Hill Volunteer Firefighters, Station #8 for allowing us the use of their building. Without their much-appreciated generosity, our training sessions, meetings and drills would not be possible! Thank you to all of our dedicated Hamden CERT Members who have volunteered their time throughout the year, to make our team so successful while experiencing the honor of serving our community and visitors to the Town of Hamden.
Robert J. Freeman Jr.
Hamden CERT Coordinator
August 25, 2020
Hamden CERT helps to complete the 9th Community Food Distribution since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic
(As of July 2021 we have completed our 19th Food Distribution!)
We just wanted to share some pictures that we received (Thank you Michelle!) from the last Hamden Community Services and Hamden Board of Education Food Distribution on August 25th. As we well know, the COVID 19 Pandemic has progressed from weeks to months and this was our 9th distribution since the beginning of the pandemic back in March! Our Hamden CERT Members have volunteered over 650 hours since the start of this community assistance project. Thank you to all of the volunteers from many different agencies and groups who made these distributions possible.
Hamden CERT activates to assist Food Distributions during the COVID-19 Pandemic
(Starting back in March of 2020)
As we prepared for the two busiest seasons of community events, we found ourselves in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, where every social gathering or community event has been canceled or postponed for the foreseeable future! We also had to postpone the remainder of our Basic Training Class #17 as we were ready to enter our 3rd week of training. We hope to regroup during the summer or at our next regularly scheduled class in September.
As an emergency response team, part of our preparations and training is for mass care, sheltering and points of distribution (POD’s). As we entered our third month of sheltering in place and social distancing, many individuals have been impacted by job loss, business closings, layoffs and home-schooling situations that were never planned for. Food supplies have been minimized because of increased purchases, limited supplies and financial income situations that have been stressed. Because of these trying conditions, we were contacted by Adam Sendroff of our Hamden Community Services and Family Engagement Coordinator Hector Velazquez about setting up a food distribution for families in need. With the assistance of the Mayor’s Office, the CT. Food Bank and Superintendent of Schools Jody Goeler, we went forward in planning our 1st food distribution on March 23rd. Under some difficult weather conditions of snow, sleet and rain that day, we were able to distribute food to over 250 families at the Dunbar Hill School with the assistance of the Board of Education and Hamden Police.
As the impact of the COVID-19 continued to increase by the hour, our local community was in need of increased support, so another distribution was planned for April 8th, with a set up day for packaging on April 7th. With the help of the CT. Food Bank, Hamden PD, Christ Bread of Life Parish, National Guard and other volunteers, we were able to support close to 400 families with food to sustain them for the next few weeks. Twenty-two (22) of our Hamden CERT Members Volunteered over 187 Service Hours over the 3 days of preparation and distribution of needed items for close to 700 families! We also have just completed our 3rd distribution on April 27th with 18 of our members helping another 400 families with a variety of food products. It was an honor for our Team Members to be able to assist and reassure our community during these very difficult times. We stand ready for any other needs during this disaster that is affecting all of us and we will get through this together!
"Please continue to: Be Safe and Be Smart, we'll get through this together!"
Sept. to Nov.
As the leaves start to turn and fall, the days get shorter, Hamden CERT prepares for the start of the heating season, brush fires and the added call volume that increases during the fall season.
The extensive call volume for the Hamden Fire Department with the start of heating season, at this time of year keeps their units and personnel very busy and Hamden CERT is always available to assist when needed.
Besides planned events, Hamden CERT is always ready 24/7 for any emergency that may be extended into an additional operational period.
Dec. to March
With the start of winter, Hamden CERT members prepare their personal gear for colder weather and restock their Mobile Command Unit/ Firefighter Rebab Unit with heating equipment and supplies. The CERT Mobile Command Vehicle EM44 is one of the major assets of Hamden Fire Department to help displaced citizens from residential fires and also helps to rehab firefighters during extended operations.
At any residential fire, CERT Volunteers will warm and shelter any displaced individuals until firefighters could assist them back into their homes to retrieve any personal belongings.
January 21, 2019
Hamden CERT Activated to open a secondary warming center for the victims of the Ice Storm, impacting over 5,000 residents!
Hamden CERT was activated to open and assist with a Warming Center for the thousands of Hamden residents that were without power and heat over the last 24 hours. Thanks to our 9 Team Members who came out and also donated snacks to the folks who were impacted by this ice storm. Also, our gratitude to Falcon Pizza for stepping up again for our folks in need!
People helping people, great work team!
About Our Program
Using the skills and training learned in the classroom during exercises, CERT Members can assist their family members and others in their neighborhood or workplace following an emergency incident when professional 1st responders are not immediately available to help.
CERT Members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies and community organizations by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
During emergencies, the mission of Hamden CERT is three-fold: to first assist our families, then our neighbors and finally our community. After meeting the needs of our family and neighbors, our primary mission is to assist our Police and Fire Services along with our community during any extended emergency operation.
In non-emergencies, we operate as a team alongside our first responders, especially during large, planned public events. During large-scale emergencies that would deplete the on-duty personnel, we work to supplement them. Two of our major functions have been rehabilitation of our first responders because of severe weather conditions, and providing assistance to displaced citizens. We are honored to be a major partner in the structure of Hamden’s Office of Emergency Management.