Volunteers Keep the Community Strong
“Saying hello is the first step in building a safe and resilient community,” says Mike Lueck, Tigard’s Emergency Services Coordinator. “When people come together—meet their neighbors, volunteer—we all benefit from a safer community. CERT plays a huge role in that.”
Tigard’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a volunteer group of trained and dedicated individuals who keep our community strong by connecting neighbors to help deter crime and prepare for and respond to major storms, earthquakes and other emergencies.
In 2017, Tigard’s 190 CERT volunteers dedicated 4,386 hours to the city. Community activities they regularly participate in and support include:
- Map My Neighborhood training
- HAM radio drills
- Event logistics and support (Balloon Festival, Public Works Day, Egg Hunt, Fun Runs, Downtown Street Fair and more)
- Enhanced program training and exercises.
If a catastrophic event impacts Tigard, trained CERT volunteers band together to respond and assist the community. Volunteers in the city’s Emergency Operations Center take on roles like coordinating field activities and taking calls in the message center.
If the Tigard-Tualatin School District were to experience an emergency, CERT volunteers located near a particular school are trained to assist staff with activities like initial building damage assessment, searching and accounting for students and staff, and reuniting students with their parents.
Important partnerships for the program reach far beyond the school district. By partnering with businesses, churches, community organizations and other government entities, the program is able to expand its reach. Important annual activities highlighting partnerships include the Community Emergency Preparedness Fair held each July in Cook Park, an annual regional response exercise and training for community partners and organizations.