"News & About Us! "

August 25, 2020  

Hamden CERT helps to complete the 9th  Community Food Distribution since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic 

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 

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!" 

 Summer Season 
June to August

With the days getting longer, we were usually busy with many preplanned events. With the COVID -19 Pandemic, all planned events have been replaced with Food & PPE Distributions.  Severe weather events are always a possibility and we remain ready for the likelihood of being activated for these emergencies also. Sleeping Giant State Park becomes very active with brush fires, lost hikers and fall victims. We are always ready to serve our community and assist our 1st Responders for any activation that we are called for.

Note: Because of the ongoing COVID-19 National Emergency, most of the regular community events have been canceled! Our primary mission will now be to support the many food distributions and deliveries to homebound residents. 

Fall Season
Sept. to December

As the leaves start to turn and 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 at this time of year keeps their units and personnel very busy and Hamden CERT is always available to assist when needed. Being that all planned events have been canceled because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Community Events have now been replaced with Points of Distribution and other needed events to assist our community. 


 Hamden CERT is always ready 24/7 for any emergency that may be extended into an additional operational period.

  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!

     Hamden CERT, Annual Report 2019

The Hamden CERT Program had a very busy year providing service to the Hamden Community. Along with the many Planned Community Events the team was also active with Public Service, Emergency Activations, Emergency Preparedness, Public Education and our ongoing training schedule. Hamden CERT provided logistical support to Hamden Fire Department, Hamden Police Department, Hamden Parks & Recreation, Town Center Park Commission, Hamden Arts, Keefe Community Center, and the Hamden Veteran’s Commissions along with the Hamden Volunteer Firefighters. We also were instrumental in the 2019 Hamden Holiday Food & Toy Drives that took place over the Thanksgiving & Christmas Holiday Seasons!


On April 11th, we graduated 9 students from our 15th CERT Basic Training Class at the Dunbar Hill Fire Station.  We conducted our 2nd class (Hamden CERT Basic Training Class #16) that started in September and graduated 12 students on October 16th.  For more information on our program or the next upcoming free CERT Basic Training Class starting on March 4th, 2020 contact us on Facebook, Twitter or our website at: www.hamdencert.com. Here are the details of our activity for 2019.


Emergency Calls - 9 Emergency Activations included Call-Outs for 5 Residential Structure Fires where we assisted displaced occupants and supplied rehabilitation services for our firefighters. CERT assisted with one Warming Center at the Miller Senior Center on January 21st and 2 Cooling Centers that were offered at Miller Senior Center and the Keefe community Center over the weekend of July 20th & July 21st.  Another emergency activation was to assist the Hamden Police Department with the search for a missing person on December 3rd.


Planned Community Events – 13 Request for assistance and logistical support that included: our Fireworks and Summer Concert Series along with the Memorial Day Parade Set-up, Hamden Expo, Brooksvale Fall Festival, The Hamden Festival & Road Race, Earth Day, (2) Food Truck Festivals and the Silver Bells Holiday Venue.


Public Service/Public Education – 29 We offered over 40 hours of basic training to our civilian residents along with review classes for our sworn members at our 2 Basic Training Classes. Fire Safety and Emergency Preparedness Information is also distributed throughout the year at special events, with classes given to community agencies on request.


Team Meetings/Training Sessions – 15 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. Training sessions are done at each monthly meeting along with seminars and Citizen Corp sponsored events. Twenty Six (26) of our members also took a 2 hours course on “Narcan” treatment for overdose victims.


Hamden CERT Members, acting as a major part of Hamden’s Office of Emergency Management volunteered their services over 70 times during the year 2019 to assist our First Responders, Town Officials, Town Commissions, Students, Guests, Neighboring Communities and our Hamden Residents.


We would like to thank Mayor Curt Leng, Fire Chief Gary Merwede, Assistant Fire Chief Charles Lubowicki, 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 3,879 service hours and to work alongside of our Town Officials and our Police and Fire Department Personnel when called upon.


Respectfully submitted,

Robert J. Freeman Jr.

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.

CPR and AED Training for CERT Members 

On Wednesday, February 21, 2018 -  18 Hamden CERT Members came together  for our CPR, AED Training and Recertification. A special thanks goes out to Hamden Fire Chief Berardesca and also to Training Officer, Lt. Lubowicki who conducted the training. We are also grateful for our Team Members who came out tonight to learn how to;

"Make a Difference!"

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