By David Foust, American Red Cross volunteer
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers are trained to help themselves and their neighbors when disasters strike. Trained CERT members frequently volunteer to support Red Cross shelters when called upon. Diana Carofano and Hillary Ross are part of CERT team in Hemet that was called upon by the Hemet Fire Chief. Karen Reynolds answered a call for CERT volunteers from social media, requesting trained CERT volunteers to help those impacted by the Fairview Fire.
“I was able to help neighbors displaced by the fire. Many of them I know,” said Karen. Diana said she loves to give back to the community because of the tremendous support she received from her neighbors following a personal tragedy she experienced in the past. Hilary said that she is helping because her family has been affected by wildfires. Hilary’s parents lost their home in the 1980 Panorama Fire in San Bernardino, and other family members were directly impacted by the Paradise Fire in 2018.
If you would like to know more about Community Emergency Response Teams, visit ready.gov. To learn how to become a volunteer with the Red Cross, visit redcross.org/volunteer.