CERT members become the first Metro Citizen Corps
(Washington, DC)–DC Citizen Corps, a program of Serve DC, announces the completion of the first Metro Citizen Corps training class. The DC Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program was the first regional partner to experience the training which was held September 15, 22 and October 13. Metro Citizen Corps includes training on rail safety, evacuation routes and tunnel walks.
September 1 kicked off National Preparedness Day, and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the Metro Transit Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security announced the creation of Metro Citizen Corps to the public. Metro Transit Police plan to train CERTs from regional partners covered by Metro transit system; District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, Montgomery County, MD and Prince George’s County, MD.
The pilot program is tentatively set for the close of 2004. At that time Metro will look at the feasibility of training citizens interested in training. Metro has already recommended CERT as a prerequisite to attending the rail safety training. This will help with recruitment and ensure citizens in the Washington region are better prepared in the event of an emergency.
Regional CERT programs will have the opportunity to provide feedback through focus group discussions which will shape the rollout of future training program. Metro is also looking into cross-training their employees in CERT to better assist in events outside of the transit system.
About Serve DC
The mission of Serve DC is to strengthen and promote the District of Columbia's spirit of service through partnerships, national service and volunteerism. Housed in the Executive Office of the Mayor, Serve DC accomplishes its mission by enhancing the education of the community's youth, improving citizen safety and neighborhood emergency preparedness, and strengthening the community through service. Specifically, the office administers programs such as Citizen Corps, AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve, DC Youth Advisory Council, The Early Chapters, the Mayor's Community Service Award and National Youth Service Day.