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Emergency response team asks North Logan council for help with funding

October 8th, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Amanda Pierce

NORTH LOGAN – David Benson, the leader for the North Logan City Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), wants North Logan to help fund the CERT program.

“We have an opportunity, I believe, right now, to become a key player in the valley,” Benson said.

“There are a few CERT programs that have become organized and developed, but not really much more than we are right now. We have a chance to move forward and be an example to our brother and sister municipalities and show them how we can make this work.”

The CERT program is run by volunteers from the community that are trained to help deal with disasters when professional responders are not available. They are taught to take a more active role in preparing their city for unexpected emergencies and to work with fire and police departments whenever possible.

Benson said other than just working and training for emergencies, he hopes to be involved in more day-to-day activities with the city, like the Pumpkin Walk and the Pioneer Day parade.

“We hope that our presence will not only help us be prepared to serve each other in a disaster, but also help each other be more prepared to help with minor instances, increasing the safety of our community,” he said.

City Administrator/recorder Jeffrey Jorgensen said the biggest cost for funding the CERT program right now is purchasing a $2,000-$3,000 trailer that will be used to house emergency equipment and supplies and as a command center for the teams.

Benson said CERT had previously requested buying two trailers, but realized that they should “get their feet wet” with one trailer first. The trailer will serve as more than just a storage unit, it will be a “magnet for donations,” he said. Having a visible part of CERT will create awareness and help the program to grow.

Most of the funding that CERT is requesting is a one-time expense, Benson said. The program has already been in North Logan for five years and is looking to improve.

“I hope we see this as an investment and not an expense,” Benson said.

The City Council said they want more discussion about investing in CERT and will come back with budget revisions.

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