The Jackson Township Division of Fire offers many services and training opportunities to residents. CPR and first-aid instruction, child safety-seat installation and inspection, fire-safety inspections, smoke-detector installation, station tours and public-relations events around the community are some of the most popular.

We also are asked frequently about ways citizens can become active and contribute locally. An excellent way to get involved is to take part in a Community Emergency Response Team -- otherwise known as a CERT.

The CERT program is managed by local public-safety organizations under the direction of FEMA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Along with several community partners, we are in the planning stages of establishing our very own CERT.

These teams have proven themselves invaluable in times of crisis. Instructed by local public-safety organizations and citizen volunteer trainers, CERTs from around the United States have assisted in disasters that have included tornados, flooding, fires, disaster medical operations and search-and-rescue missions.

CERTs also can be of immense value to their communities prior to a disaster by implementing projects and programs that increase public safety.

If becoming a member of the Community Emergency Response Team sounds like something you would be interested in doing, continue to look for information on our website at

Randy Little is chief of the Jackson Township Division of Fire.