The Hamden CERT Program had a very busy year providing service to the Hamden Community during this historic year of events! As we have completed close to10 months of quarantine, sheltering in place and social distancing because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many residents of our town have been impacted by loss of loved ones, sickness, 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, the Hamden CERT Members were asked to step up to assist many of our town offices with logistical support. Hamden CERT provided logistical support to Hamden Fire Department, Hamden Police Department, Hamden Community Services, Hamden Youth Center, the Hamden Mayor’s Office, Hamden Elderly Services, Hamden Youth Services, Hamden Board of Education, Hamden Public Works along with other local Health, Church & Charitable Organizations.
Emergency Calls - 40 Emergency Activations included 36 related to the COVID-19 Pandemic along with Call-Outs for 2 Structure Fires where we assisted displaced occupants and supplied rehabilitation services for our firefighters. We assisted the Quinnipiac Valley Health District in October with a Drive-thru Flu Clinic/Vaccination Station and we also assisted the Hamden Fire Department and Police Department for 2 calls at Sleeping Giant State Park.Our team members totaled 883 service hours during emergency activations.
Planned Community Events – 7 Even with the suspension of our regular season of Community Events, we received 7 requests for assistance and logistical support that included: The Hamden High School 2020 Drive-thru Graduation of 400 graduates that was very demanding because of all CCD COVID-19 Protocols. We also assisted The Mayor’s Office with 3 Drive-in Movie Nights and our Community Services Department and Hamden Volunteer Firefighters with 3 Holiday Toy & Food Drives. Our team members totaled 356 service hours during planned events.
Public Service/Public Education – 7 Our regularly scheduled March Basic Training Class for our civilian residents had to be postponed because of the pandemic. We volunteered our services twice for the Grace & St. Peter’s Church Dinner for a Dollar and assisted the Hamden Youth Services Let’s Move Health Fair, The Hamden Veteran’s Commission and. Our services to the Hamden Department of Community Services and the Hamden Board of Education continued throughout the year with the added demands they received because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our team members totaled 334 service hours dedicated to Public Service and Public Education.
Team Meetings/Training Sessions – 20 As always, “Safety” is a priority for our community and 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 CERT Members spent a good segment of the month of May assisting the Hamden Fire Department with 12 Sessions of Live Burn Training. This training was essential to our members, as we assist with Firefighter Rehabilitation many times during the year. Six of our members also took a 3-hour course on “Autism Awareness” sponsored by the Hamden Police Department. We also visited Vinyl Tech High School in Middletown where 14 of our members were invited to a class on the operations of Emergency Operation Centers. Because of the many CDC COVID-19 restrictions our members also attended many of the FEMA Regional Webinars and Local OEM Meetings totaling 114 hours. Our team members totaled 573 total hours dedicated to training, meetings and planning this year.
For more information on our program or the next upcoming free CERT Basic Training Class starting in January, 2021 contact us on Facebook, Twitter or our website at: www.hamdencert.com.
We would like to thank Mayor Curt Leng, Fire Chief Gary Merwede, Assistant Fire Chief Charles Lubowicki, Police Chief John Sullivan and the Hamden Police Department, 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 2,146 Service Hours and to work alongside of our Town Officials and our Police and Fire Department Personnel when called upon. As always, a special thanks goes out to the Members of The Dunbar Hill Volunteer Firefighters, Station #8 for allowing us the use of their building. Without their much-appreciated generosity, our training sessions, meetings and drills would not be possible! Thank you to all of our dedicated members who have volunteered their time throughout the year, to make our team so successful while enjoying the honor of serving our community.