FW-SAR-CERT is composed of active and retired military, law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, EMT’s, nurses, and their families. An all volunteer force, trained by the best agencies. The commitment to answer the call of duty is obviously there, along with many years of experience being utilized to help and save lives. Also, being off-road vehicle owners, customized to reach the most remote spots on earth with one goal in mind, to bring you back home to your loved ones.
Even though we have prior training and experience from our personal careers, we still go though the DOHS, FEMA mandated Community Emergency Response Team basic training. Training ordinary citizens to prepare for the worse case scenarios. Assisting their family, neighbors and communities before and during hurricanes, natural disasters, and acts of terrorism. During those first few hours and days after a disaster before help arrives they can help, assist and treat light injuries. Then there’s Advance CERT, CPR Health Care Provider Certification, First Responder, Rappelling, and Advance Medical Trauma and that’s just the beginning.
Then comes the NASAR specialty Search and Rescue Technician I, II, and III training.
And let’s not forget the FCC Technician License. We utilize Amateur Radio for our means of communications between ourselves and perhaps hear those whom we seek.
Florida Wilderness Search And Rescue – C.E.R.T. volunteers come from many off-road vehicle organizations throughout Florida. Together with other CERT’s, Fire/Rescue and Sheriff departments they answer the call to help several counties in Florida. We train with many agencies at locations from Marion to Sarasota, and our home base of Hillsborough to Polk, in the most remote areas of those counties, becoming familiar with the terrain, vegetation, bodies of water and elevations.
History of C.E.R.T.
The CERT program started in Los Angeles, CA before making its journey across all the United States and abroad. Officials from L.A. traveled to Japan in February of 1965 to study its disasters response plans. The team discovered that Japan had expensive training programs that were neighborhood based, focusing on fire suppression, light urban search and rescue operations, first aid and evacuations.
The L.A. group traveled to Mexico City following a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that killed more than 10,000 people. Although there had been no pre-disaster training, groups of volunteers organized and conducted light search and rescue operations. These volunteers were credited with saving over 800 people, but over 100 volunteers lost their lives in the effort. Having determined that pre-disaster training of volunteers was a valuable resource for the city, officials began training leaders of Neighborhood Watches to perform basic fire suppression, light urban search and rescue and first aid.
The very first team of 30 people completed CERT Basic training in early 1986 and proved that the concept was viable through various drills, demonstrations, and exercises.