November 18, 2014


Hatteras Community Emergency Response
Team is topic of radio show...WITH AUDIO


By IRENE NOLAN

Two leaders of Hatteras Island's Community Emergency Response Team were interviewed about the team's work on Sunday, Nov. 16, on the Radio Hatteras interview show, "To the Point."

The guests for the hour were Kenny Brite of Avon and Larry Ogden of Waves.

"To the Point," which is hosted by Island Free Press editor Irene Nolan, airs on the island's community radio station, FM 101.5 and FM 99.9, at 5 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month.  It is repeated on the second and fourth Sunday.

The idea for Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) was first developed after the earthquakes in California in the 1980s. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, using a model developed by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, began promoting nationwide use of the CERT concept in 1994.  Since that time, hundreds of teams have been formed in communities across the country.

The teams, under the direction of emergency responders, provide critical support after disasters by giving immediate assistance to the victims, providing damage assessment information, and organizing other volunteers at the disaster site. The role of a CERT volunteer is to help others until trained emergency personnel arrive.

The teams also help the community year-round by helping with such things as emergency planning, preparedness outreach, fire safety education, and daily emergencies.

The Hatteras Island Community Emergency Response Team, which operates under Dare County's Emergency Management Office,  was the idea of Kenny Brite and other volunteers at the Avon Fire Department.

In a story last year in the Island Free Press, Brite said that idea came to him in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

“After Irene, we were feeding hundreds of people a day out of the Avon fire house,” he stated. “A thousand plates were going out of [the fire house] everyday, and we only had nine firefighters.”

In the end, local women stepped up to ensure that the community’s most basic needs were being met, which eased the burden of the already-overwhelmed firefighters.

“I was thinking, we should form an auxiliary to handle this kind of thing,” Brite said. “A cadre of people and a plan already set in place.”

Brite's did some research and found CERT. And in May 2013, the first class of volunteers began CERT training.

Today, Hatteras has 66 trained CERT volunteers -- men and women, who are both young and older, from all of the island's villages. A class is currently underway, and there will be more arranged as needed.

The Hatteras team was involved in its first disaster response after Hurricane Arthur passed perilously close to the island last July 4.

In the interview on "To the Point," Brite and Ogden talk about volunteer training, the warm reception that the team has received from local first responders, the work team members did after Hurricane Arthur, and the other situations in which members have helped.

They call it a "neighbor helping neighbor" concept, and the team's board is always looking for new volunteers to join their group.

You can hear them talk in much more detail about the work that CERT does and what the training involves in the interview.

To listen to the audio, go to the end of this article and click on the "To the Point" icon.

For more information, you can visit the Hatteras Island team's Facbook page or e-mail [email protected].


MORE ABOUT 'TO THE POINT'

On the show, IFP editor Irene Nolan will be interviewing newsmakers about the events and issues that affect all of us who live on Hatteras Island and those of us who love to visit here.

"You can expect to hear from folks who are making the news, those who are decision-makers, and some who are just plain interesting to talk to about the island and its past, present, and future," she says.

Because the station's all-volunteer staff and small budget are stretched tight, the show is pre-recorded.  At this point, listeners cannot call in questions.

Also, the station can be received only on Hatteras Island, though the board of directors of the community, non-profit hopes that funds can be raised soon for online streaming of the programming.

For now, the audio will be posted the week after the interview so Island Free Press readers who missed the show or who do not live on Hatteras can listen in.

You can let Nolan know about folks you would like her to interview and suggest questions to ask.  Send your ideas to [email protected].


MORE ABOUT RADIO HATTERAS

Radio Hatteras is our community, non-profit radio station and depends on grants, memberships, and underwriting.

It broadcasts around the clock with news -- including such things as surfing and fishing reports -- community announcements, music, and special programs.

Our community radio station also needs your support, and you can give that by purchasing a membership or by underwriting the station if you are a business or another community non-profit.

Radio Hatteras memberships are $50 for a family, $25 for an individual and $10 for a student. Mail memberships and other contributions to Radio Hatteras, P.O. Box 339, Frisco, NC 27936.

E-mail [email protected] or call (252) 995-6000 for information about underwriting opportunities.

You can read more about Radio Hatteras and its music and programs on its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/radiohatteras.

The new Radio Hatteras website is http://www.radiohatteras.org. There’s information on memberships, underwriting, and programming, among other things.

Radio Hatteras wants to publicize community events.  You can send them at least two weeks in advance to [email protected].

If you have a special request for a song, you can e-mail it to [email protected].

If you have news, you can send it to [email protected]g.

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