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     Hamden CERT, Annual Report 2020

Annual Report, Hamden CERT 2020


The Hamden CERT Program had a very busy year providing service to the Hamden Community during this historic year of events!  As we have completed close to10 months of quarantine, sheltering in place and social distancing because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many residents of our town have been impacted by loss of loved ones,  sickness, 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, the Hamden CERT Members were asked to step up to assist many of our town offices with logistical 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 Elderly Services, Hamden Youth Services, Hamden Board of Education, Hamden Public Works along with other local Health, Church & Charitable Organizations.  


Emergency Calls - 40 Emergency Activations included 36 related to the COVID-19 Pandemic along with Call-Outs for 2 Structure Fires where we assisted displaced occupants and supplied rehabilitation services for our firefighters. We assisted the Quinnipiac Valley Health District in October with a Drive-thru Flu Clinic/Vaccination Station and we also assisted the Hamden Fire Department and Police Department for 2 calls at Sleeping Giant State Park. Our team members totaled 883 service hours during emergency activations.


Planned Community Events – 7 Even with the suspension of our regular season of Community Events, we received 7 requests for assistance and logistical support that included: The Hamden High School 2020 Drive-thru Graduation of 400 graduates that was very demanding because of all CCD COVID-19 Protocols. We also assisted The Mayor’s Office with 3 Drive-in Movie Nights and our Community Services Department and Hamden Volunteer Firefighters with 3 Holiday Toy & Food Drives. Our team members totaled 356 service hours during planned events.


Public Service/Public Education – 7 Our regularly scheduled March Basic Training Class for our civilian residents had to be postponed because of the pandemic. We volunteered our services twice for the Grace & St. Peter’s Church Dinner for a Dollar and assisted the Hamden Youth Services Let’s Move Health Fair, The Hamden Veteran’s Commission and. Our services to the Hamden Department of Community Services and the Hamden Board of Education continued throughout the year with the added demands they received because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our team members totaled 334 service hours dedicated to Public Service and Public Education.




Team Meetings/Training Sessions – 20 As always, “Safety” is a priority for our community and 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.  Our CERT Members spent a good segment of the month of May assisting the Hamden Fire Department with 12 Sessions of Live Burn Training. This training was essential to our members, as we assist with Firefighter Rehabilitation many times during the year. Six of our members also took a 3-hour course on “Autism Awareness” sponsored by the Hamden Police Department. We also visited Vinyl Tech High School in Middletown where 14 of our members were invited to a class on the operations of Emergency Operation Centers. Because of the many CDC COVID-19 restrictions our members also attended many of the FEMA Regional Webinars and Local OEM Meetings totaling 114 hours. Our team members totaled 573 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 January, 2021 contact us on Facebook, Twitter or our website at: www.hamdencert.com.


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 2,146 Service Hours and to work alongside of our Town Officials and our Police and Fire Department Personnel when called upon. 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 members who have volunteered their time throughout the year, to make our team so successful while enjoying the honor of serving our community.  


Respectfully submitted,

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!" 

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 Spring Season 
April to June

As the snow starts to melt and we head into spring we step up our preparation for the height of Flooding Season and prepare our Shelter Equipment and Supplies. We take our Monthly Training Sessions outside & introduce some of our newer members to our vehicle and equipment. 

This year with the COVID-19 impact on our community, we hope that we will return to having some of our regular Community Events? If not we will continue to support our community with logistical support or for any other Pandemic Related POD's or Emergency Operations that may be needed. 

Summer Season
June to Sept. 

This past year with the COVID-19 impact on our community, we hope that we will return to having some of our regular Community Events? If not we will continue to support our community with logistical support or for any other COVID-19 Pandemic Related POD's or Emergency Operations that may be needed. 

Our "Call-out Team Members" will be standing by as always to provide any needed logistical support to our Fire & Police Personnel. 

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Food Drive 20, CERT & Santa.jpg

  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

Our Vision




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. ​



Our Mission


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.