New volunteers join Brooklyn emergency response team

Graduates from the Brooklyn CERT class with NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell (standing center), members of the FDNY and NYPD during the 34th cycle CERT Graduation ceremony at NYC Emergency Management on Monday, July 8, 2019 in Brooklyn, NY.
Photo Via / NYC Emergency Management

Borough wide

Let’s hear it for the 15 new volunteers who will work with city emergency officials to prepare the borough against disaster!

The new disaster specialists graduated from a 10-week program that trained them to serve in the Community Emergency Response Teams. City officials including Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell, NYPD Deputy inspector Phylis Byrne, and FDNY Deputy Chief James Brosi praised the graduates at a ceremony on July 8.

“Throughout the year, volunteers dedicate their time and energy preparing New Yorkers for emergencies,” Criswell said. “Today we honor the 15 Brooklyn graduates who will join the more than 1,200 volunteers citywide helping their communities stay ready.”

The CERTs program debuted in 2003 and features courses on fire safety, search and rescue, traffic management, first aid, and triage. One local newcomer said he felt the program offered him a chance to get to know the borough better.

“Being a newcomer to New York City I felt it was important to become involved in my community. The CERT program offered that opportunity,” Brooklyn CERT graduate Mikeala Sparks said. “The program is a great tool in the mission to make sure all New Yorkers are ready for the next emergency. I look forward to helping to prepare residents in my community.”

CERT graduates will join more than 1,200 serving CERT volunteers representing more than 50 teams throughout New York City. The graduates received training from a number of the city’s highly trained emergency responders, including 13 Fire Department instructors, seven paramedic instructors, seven Police Department instructors, and nine Emergency Management liaisons.

For more information about the CERT program, or if you are interested in becoming a CERT volunteer, call 311 or visit

— Chandler Kidd

Reach reporter Chandler Kidd at or by calling (718) 260–2525. Follow her at

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