Yorktown is looking for volunteers to join a new program that would train them in basic response skills and empower them to supplement current emergency responders in case of a disaster.
"There are all these members of our community who when we have large scale disasters want to do something to help," Public Safety Officer Larry Eidelman for the said. "They feel like they would like to be a part of the solution and they just don't know what to do.''
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program will educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact the area and train them in fire safety, sheltering operations, team organization and disaster medical operations.
"We do live in a wonderful community and people do want to be a part of the response and they want to help," Eidelman said. "This is going to coordinate that effort."
Eidelman was trained for the program in 2005. One of his responsibilities within the police department is to oversee the emergency plan in Yorktown. He said the Yorktown Police Department will sponsor the CERT program and he would coordinate it.
Yorktown volunteers, interested in being a part of the program, would be helping to operate the emergency shelter, distribute meals and check on residents who may need special assistance. The volunteers, who need to be 18 years old and over, would be covered by the town's workers' compensation program.
"We wil activate this team whenever necessary, these are not people that will self-activate or self-dispatch," Eidelman said.
He emphasized that volunteers would be used only when needed and they would not replace the town's current first responders (members of the fire departments and ambulance corps), but rather supplement them.
"We will give them an unbelievable purpose to help their community in the times when we really need it the most," Eidelman said. "I think you're going to see tremendous things from [the program]."
He hopes to have a kick-off meeting in late May or early June.
"This is going to promote the people of Yorktown helping the people of Yorktown when we have some sort of disaster," Eidelman said.
Residents who are interested in learning more about the program or would like to register for training, can contact Yorktown Police public safety officer Larry Eidelman at 914-962-4141, ext. 163, or via email email@example.com.