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"News & About Us! "

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     Hamden CERT, Annual Report 2022

The Hamden CERT Program again, had a very busy year providing service to the Hamden Community as we have still been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Because of the many physical and financial 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 – 18, Emergency Activations included 13 related to the COVID-19 Pandemic: 10 Food Distributions & 3 Points of Distribution for face masks and test kits. Emergency Activations for 3 Multiple Alarm Structure Fires, where we assisted displaced occupants and supplied logistical support and rehabilitation services for our firefighters. We also volunteered 45 service hours with the management of donations for the victims of the Warner Street fire where over 90 residents were displaced! Our team members totaled 714 service hours during emergency activations this year.

Planned Community Events –18, Now that we have partially recovered from some of the social distancing mandates at Community Events, we received 14 requests for assistance and logistical support for planned/scheduled events that included: assisting The Mayor’s Office with the Earth Day Event, a Food Truck Festival, Our Memorial Day Parade, the Pride Event, the Hamden Festival, the Hamden Summer Concert Series, the Annual Brooksvale Fall Festival and the Silverbells Celebration. Our team members totaled 806 service hours during planned events this year.

Public Service/Public Education – 10, We graduated our 20th CERT Basic Training Class of 11 students back on March 31st. 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 Food Distributions. We provided mutual aid coverage for North Haven CERT at the North Haven Fair. We also supported our Community Services Department and Hamden Volunteer Firefighters with 5 Holiday Toy & Food Drives.

Our team members totaled 312 service hours dedicated to Public Service and Public Education this year.

Team Meetings/Training Sessions – 16, 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. Our monthly meetings (9) always include at least 1 hour of training & review of our operational guidelines. Our members also had training along with our paid firefighters with a new regional asset. The state has issued us an inflatable tent with heating & cooling that can be used as a portable command post or shelter. Our team members totaled 732 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 2023 contact us on Facebook, Twitter or our website at:

"We would like to thank Mayor Lauren Garrett, Retired Fire Chief Gary Merwede, Newly Appointed Fire Chief Jeff Naples and our Hamden Firefighters, Retired Police Chief John Sullivan, Newly Appointed, Acting Police Chief Tim Wydra and our 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 2,564 service hours along with 1,368 hours (behind the scenes) dedicated to administrative record keeping, grant requests, attending state meetings and calls, along with maintenance and upkeep of social media sites and equipment, that produced a total of 3,932 hours, provided to our town during 2022. We congratulate the new administration and look forward to continuing an effective relationship for the well-being of our community. As always, a special thanks goes out to the Members of The Dunbar Hill Volunteer Firefighters, Company #8 for allowing us the use of their building. Without their much-appreciated generosity, our training sessions, meetings and drills would not be possible! 


Last, but not least, "Thank you" to all of our dedicated Hamden CERT Members who have volunteered their time and came together 62 times throughout the year, that made our team so successful, while experiencing the honor of serving our community and visitors to the Town of Hamden. 

Respectfully submitted,   

Robert J. Freeman Jr.

Hamden CERT Coordinator

Tuesday, June 18, 2021, Hamden CERT supports Hamden Middle School Staff with the "End of Year Celebration" over a 2-day period! 

Our Hamden CERT Members were honored to support the “Hamden Middle School, End of Year Celebration” over the last 2 days. Congratulations to the Middle School Staff for an outstanding program that paid tribute to the students over 2 days during 4 separate sessions.

The Hamden Middle School Staff produced a great program, honoring the students who will be moving on to the high school, next year. We congratulate the students and wish them and the staff a fun filled, safe summer!

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August 25, 2020  
Hamden CERT helps to complete the 9th  Community Food Distribution since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic 
(As of March 2022, we have completed our 25th 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.

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  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 

     March 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.


A few of our major planned spring activations are for supporting the Annual Earth Day Celebration, the Graduation Celebrations along with the Hamden Annual Road Race & Festival. 

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Summer Season 
May to September   

With the days getting longer, we get busy with many preplanned events. With concerts, festivals and road races we are busy just about every week.


Severe weather events are always a possibility and we remain ready for the likelihood of being activated for these emergencies. 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.

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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!

  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.

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