ELMSFORD, N.Y. — With the help of village Board of Trustees member Raymond Cordi, Elmsford may soon see its first Community Emergency Response Team.
Cordi, who is a paramedic, Elmsford Fire Department member, nurse practitioner, and CPR and first aid trainer, held an informational session Tuesday night about creating an Elmsford CERT program. The idea for a CERT came after an Elmsford resident asked Mayor Robert Williams about how she would be able to help her neighbors while waiting for first responders to arrive.
"During the last storm, so many trees fell down, so emergency vehicles couldn't get to you," Williams said about Hurricane Sandy. "People wondered if there was a way to help their neighbors."
The program, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, would consist of eight weeks of training for citizens over 18. The courses would include medical training like techniques for opening airways, controlling bleeding and basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid. It would also teach members how to prepare for disaster and how to react when a disaster occurs, with such things as fire suppression strategies and debris removal.
"Knowing how to do certain little things like stopping the bleeding can make a difference," Cordi said. "We need to know how to help each other."
Elmsford Schools Superintendent Barbara Peters and Alexander Hamilton Principal Marc Baiocco were present at the meeting. Baiocco said he not only plans to take the courses himself, but that school faculty who are members of the emergency management team also would become certified.
After the session, Judy Zingher of Elmsford said she would sign up for the CERT because disaster can strike anywhere, and she wants to help her community be ready.
"Terrible things happen everywhere. Sometimes you just need to wake up and smell the coffee," Zingher said. "It's a great way to get involved with the village and be a help."
For those interested in joining the Elmsford CERT, another informational session will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday at Village Hall, 15 S. Stone Ave.