May 24, 2009 - City Fire Equipment Company Donates Fire Extinguishers to Help Fuel East Hanover Emergency Response Program

East Hanover, NJ – May 24, 2009 – City Fire Equipment Company of East Hanover recently continued its ongoing support of local and statewide fire departments and communities by donating fire extinguishers to each graduate of the East Hanover Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.

CERT is a national program that prepares volunteer citizens to respond to various types of emergencies with basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills that will improve the ability of their community to survive a disaster until emergency personnel respond. Training includes exercises in first aid and CPR, shelter operation, terrorism, disaster preparedness and fire suppression.

Twenty-five East Hanover volunteer residents trained for at least 48 hours as part of their CERT preparation. City Fire Equipment Company president Paul McGrath presented the 5-pound fire extinguishers to each volunteer at their final training session on May 2

“Volunteerism is an essential ingredient to any community’s ability to respond to an emergency, whether local, regional or national in scale,” said McGrath. “According to CERT planning, in the event of an emergency a municipality must be self-sustainable for 72 hours before receiving assistance from the federal government.

“During an emergency local police and fire departments likely will be stressed with the demands of overwhelming calls for help. A well-trained citizen support program will both help these agencies and the public in general. City Fire Equipment is proud to be part of the CERT efforts of East Hanover and its residents.”

Also attending the May 2 training session were: members of the East Hanover Fire Department; fire chief Raymond Serra and captain Carmine Davino; East Hanover Mayor Joseph Pannullo; and John Carravella from USA, which supplied first aid kits to the CERT participants.

City Fire Equipment Company has a long tradition of supporting fire prevention efforts both locally and statewide. The company each year hosts a series of free fire prevention seminars open to all fire officials and inspectors and building facility managers and engineers providing valuable updates and training and education in fire prevention regulations and other relevant topics. In addition, McGrath is a recent recipient of a President’s Award from the New Jersey Fire Prevention & Protection Association for ongoing commitment to improving fire prevention and safety training.

CERT was begun in Los Angeles in 1985 by the Los Angeles Fire Department. President George W. Bush harnessed the spirit of volunteerism after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and initiated the Citizen Corps program, of which CERT is a component. CERT is under the direction of the Office of Emergency Management and follows a similar structure as the 1941 Civil Defense programs.

East Hanover’s CERT coordinator is chief John Centanni, along with deputy coordinators George Busold, Larry Colasurdo, Craig Perrelli and Mark Curcio. The 25 volunteers are local citizens who come from a variety of backgrounds with the goal of being there to help their neighbors in the event of a disaster. A graduation ceremony for the 25 East Hanover CERT volunteers was held on Thursday, May 7, at the East Hanover Fire Department.

Although the program stipulates that participants must be 18 or older, CERT coordinators are working with Hanover Park High School to begin a junior program with the high school students.