The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, May. 20, 2022

Local CERT featured in FEMA newsletter

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be featured in the June publication of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) newsletter that will be seen by more than 150,000 subscribers across the nation. 

The Van Wert Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) provides assistance at a variety of disasters, including traffic accidents and fires.

Van Wert CERT Chairman Mark Klausing received a phone call from Barbara Ruben, who is in charge of printing the monthly FEMA newsletter. Ruben said she contacted Josh Vittie, the lead of Community Emergency Response Teams for Ohio, and asked him what CERT is doing for the COVID-19 response. Vittie then suggested she contact the Van Wert team and feature what it was doing.

The Van Wert Emergency Management Agency activated CERT by opening a call center on March 23 for those who were quarantined, elderly, and those in the community that were unable to get food and supplies. Calls came in and the team worked with community partners to pick up and deliver these items to them. CERT also provided traffic control for the food distributions along with handling other emergency calls that came in such as house fires and storm spotting.

For more details of the local CERT response, hit the following video link:

“To receive a call like this really floored me,” Klausing said. “Since nothing like this has been done before, we started with nothing. 

“Our great CERT team that we have, came together and put this response in place,” he added. “To find out that our response was being watched and highly recommended made all the hard work and hours worth it. 

Klausing also noted that he knew the community needed help and was relying on CERT to perform. 

“At this time, our team is continuing to monitor the situation and responding,” he added. “I would also like to thank the community of Van Wert. Without their huge support, we would not have the tools and equipment needed to effectively respond to emergencies and disasters.” 

Latest reports are showing that this will be a long term event. Anyone wanting to make a tax deductible donation to CERT to insure it can effectively assist the community when the phone rings can send checks to Van Wert County Foundation/CERT (with COVID in the memo), 138 E. Main St. in Van Wert. Those wanting more information on CERT can follow its Facebook page “Van Wert County CERT” to keep up on what the organization is doing and view its responses.

POSTED: 04/29/20 at 1:35 pm. FILED UNDER: News