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"News & About Our Team!"

Thursday, May 23, 2024


Hamden CERT invites teams from Hartford, Southington and Manchester CERT  reviewing our Firefighter Rehabilitatioin Equipment and other Emergency Assets. 

On Thursday evening, May 23rd we were happy to host some of our CERT Brothers and Sisters from Manchester, Southington and Hartford CERT Programs.

We displayed some of our firefighter rehabilitation equipment and supplies and also gave them a tour of both of our Emergency Response Vehicles. Thanks to Manchester CERT for bringing along their vehicles and displaying their cache of Drones and equipment.

As always, it’s a pleasure to visit with our other CERT Members from other towns since there is no distance between us when it comes to Emergency Management and CERT Programs!

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Hamden CERT's New Emergency Response Vehicle Is Now Ready To Serve!  

With a project that started back in October of last year, we have finally reached completion of adding another vehicle to our Hamden CERT Program. With our original vehicle reaching the 30-year milestone, it was time to look for a back-up that would be more dependable. We purchased a 2000 Ford 350 Ford Transit Van that was originally used by other local departments as a Dive Team Response Vehicle. With emergency lighting, scene lighting and an interior with two bench seats (seating for at least 8) and storage underneath, it was a perfect match for what we needed. Our plan is to have this vehicle serve as our primary vehicle for emergency response (Rehab.) and our older vehicle to be used for planned events and traffic & crowd management.

As you can see from many of the before & after photos, this project would not have been possible without the many months of work done by Our Members who saved us additional time & dollars in cleaning, building custom cabinetry & preparation for the exterior reflective emblems and lettering. We also thank our Mayor’s Office, our Fire Chief, our FD Maintenance Division, Economic Development Office, the Purchasing Department & Century Sign of Hamden for their assistance and support of this project that will not only benefit our 1st Responders but all members of our local & regional communities. 

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Hamden CERT, Annual Report 2023

Annual Report, Hamden CERT 2023


The Hamden CERT Program again, had a very busy year providing service to the Hamden Community. 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. Here is a breakdown of our activities over the last year.


Emergency Calls – 6  Emergency We had Emergency Activations for 6 Multiple Alarm Structure Fires, where we assisted displaced occupants and supplied logistical support and rehabilitation services for our firefighters and displaced residents.  One of these fire incidents was for Mutual Aid to Meriden to supply firefighter rehabilitation services at a Multiple Alarm Fire.

Our Team Members totaled 141 service hours during emergency activations.

Planned Community Events –24  Now that we have partially recovered from some of the social distancing mandates at Community Events, we received 24 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 965 service hours during planned events.

Public Service, Education & Outreach – 21  We graduated our 21st CERT Basic Training Class of 25 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 3 of the Hamden Kid’s Toy Drives. We provided 16 Basic CERT Training Sessions between Quinnipiac University (25 Students graduated) and our Adult Class along with mutual aid coverage for North Haven CERT with the North Haven Fair.

Our team members totaled 364 service hours dedicated to Public Service and Public Education.

Team Meetings/Training Sessions – 25 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 assisted with Hamden Fire Department Tuesday Night Training Sessions, along with our paid firefighters.

Our Team Members totaled 864 hours dedicated to training, meetings and planning this year.

This has been a very rewarding year for our team, the Hamden Fire Department and our community partners. Through the assistance and cooperation of Carol Hazen, Sharon Reagan and staff of the Economic Development Department and our Purchasing Agent Phil Goodwin we were able to purchase 2 items of safety equipment for our Hamden Fire Department and an additional response vehicle through our Community Development Block Grant Program. We added an additional response vehicle to support our aged, 1994 CERT Vehicle and were able to purchase a Firefighter Rehabilitation System and a mechanical device for draining and rolling the Large Diameter 5” supply hose that will help prevent firefighter injuries from handling the very heavy supply hoses that supply water from hydrants to fire apparatus at the scene of any fire.


For more information on our program or the next upcoming free CERT Basic Training Class starting in February 2024 contact us on Facebook, "X" (Twitter), Instagram 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, Retired Acting Police Chief Tim Wydra and our Hamden Police Department, Public Works Director Joe Collello & his staff, 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 2,430 service hours along with 964 hours (behind the scenes) dedicated to administrative record keeping, attending local and state meetings and calls, along with maintenance and upkeep of social media sites, equipment and supplies that produced a total of 3,394 hours, provided to our town during 2023

We are honored to have an outstanding relationship with our Mayor and her Staff and look forward to continuing our team effort 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 76 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, November 21, 2023

Hamden CERT Program Chosen to receive the
Hamden Community Service Award by the Hamden Firefighters Awards Committee
for their contributions to the town

We the Members of the Hamden CERT Program would like to thank Mayor Garrett, Chief Naples and the Hamden Firefighters Awards Committee for their recognition of our team and the Community Service Award that was presented to our team members.

Our Volunteer Members graciously accept this award for all of our members, especially those, like many who could not attend the ceremony today because of work obligations. Whether if it is a bitter cold night of a sweltering hot weekend afternoon, our members are always there to support our firefighters, other 1st Responders and any civilians who may be the victims of any large-scale emergency. It is always our privilege to respond and be by the side of our Firefighters and other responders, while they perform their duties to protect the lives and property of our community members.

For those of you who took the time to come out today to honor our firefighters and civilians who helped make a difference, when misfortunes or emergencies occurred, we thank you! Special thanks to the Dunbar Hill Volunteer Firefightes from Station #8 for their hosptality and have given us a home! They have opened their station to us for all of our needs! We also would like to recognize our Unseen Partners from our "Hamden Central Communications Office" who answer every 911-Call and dispatch our Emergency Responders. Not only do they assist callers on their most trying moments but also serve as our guardians when we call them to send additional resources for our well-being and the needs of our community.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022 
State of CT Announces Funding For The New Hamden Fire Department, Station #2  

It's Great Day for the Hamden Fire Department along with our residents of the southern part of Hamden. Hamden CERT has called this station our home for our CERT vehicle, supplies & equipment for the last 5 years! We thank Chief Merwede, A/C Naples, the staff & especially the line personnel who have welcomed us & shared their home away for home with open arms! We truly appreciate all the members of HFD for their outstanding service to our community! Thank you for sharing your station with us!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2021 
 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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Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Miller Library/Thornton Wilder Hall, Hamden CERT assisted Quinnipiac Valley Health District with the second of two COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics. 

Thank you to our 16 Hamden CERT Members who came out to support the 2nd QVHD COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at the Thornton Wilder Hall. Hamden CERT Members managed many of the Logistical Support Functions like: Medical Screening, Registration and Transport Support for special needs patrons who needed assistance to and from their vehicles. Again, it was an honor to work along with Hamden Fire, the QVHD Team, Quinnipiac University Students, Miller Library and Hamden Senior Center Staff. Special “Thanks” goes out to our members who took a day off from work, to assist our community during this ongoing COVID-19 Emergency.

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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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Summer Season 

June 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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Fall Season 
September 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.

 Besides planned events, Hamden CERT is always ready 24/7 for any emergency that may be extended into an additional operational period as we head into the heating season. 

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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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