ELMSFORD, N.Y. -- In a joint board meeting held Oct. 5, the Elmsford Union Free School District and the Village of Elmsford honored 15 high school students who successfully completed training this summer to become Westchester County’s first Community Emergency Response Team.
The students, under the direction of CERT Coordinator Barbara Eannazzo, spent several weeks learning life-saving and disaster-response skills. The students who participated in the training volunteered for the initiative.
"We are all proud of them," said Schools Superintendent Joseph Ricca, while watching the students receive certificates for successfully completing the program.
The CERT concept was first developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985 as a way to prepare citizens to meet their immediate needs in the case of an earthquake or other disaster.
Later, the Federal Emergency Management Agency recognized the value of such a program, and it has since provided training to communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico.