Volunteering in a Winter Wonderland

New year! New opportunities for BOCH CERT to help out around the communities. Since our last update, our CERT team has volunteered hundreds of hours at COVID testing clinics, Rapid Test distribution, Town Meetings, and a few community related events.

A majority of BOCH CERTs time has been spent supporting the Orlean’s Covid Testing Site with the Medical Reserve Corps providing testing for anyone in the Lower Cape and points near and far. Every Tuesday like clockwork, our volunteers get up and roll out to Orleans to set up the testing distribution site and then guide people through the process as orderly and safely as possible. We do this in good weather and bad, in snow and rain, and with the community spirit that makes this organization one of the best to volunteer with.

In fact, we were so reliable and helpful, BOCH CERT was recognized at the Orleans Fire and Rescue awards ceremony. The team was given a Community Impact Award for excellence highlighting our support for COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Orleans. Well done team! Especially Max, our unofficial Mascot!

The team also participated in Wreathes Across America at the Massachusetts National Cemetery at Bourne (MANCBO) placing wreathes on the gravesites of our fallen heroes. BOCH CERT has been expanding our mission to include volunteering at community events like this and the 9/11 Memorial Service because of the interest of our team members. It is our team that informs us on where we can make a difference or simply participate in ceremonies like this outside our charters with the four towns of the Lower Cape. If you are interested in being a part of this team and making a difference, feel free to join us. We have a convenient online application right here on the website!

As the weather has been kicking up this winter, members of BOCH CERT have been training and deploying at Personal Care Centers in the four towns as needed. Personal Care Centers are temporary shelters available to local residents to come in and power up their devices and have a warm place to stay for a few hours as power is restored around the community. In Brewster, Chatham, and Orleans Personal Care Shelters have run from the morning until late in the evening, providing the needed respite for residents that can manage on their own overnight, but need a little power to keep their communication lines powered up. With the impending storm this weekend, CERT team members are already on alert and waiting for the call. Residents of the Lower Cape can keep an eye on local town’s social media or websites to learn when, if, and where their local personal care centers pop up in case of emergency. Please see our training links for more information on how to prepare for weather emergencies and what to have ready in case of evacuation.

As we roll on into the Spring, new trainings will be coming along. We have been expanding our technology tools this last year and there will be no change in that forward progress. CPR training will be coming up for team members who are not already certified or who need recertification. We have de-escalation training and leadership training to continue with in 2022. We still have a large batch of new Provisional members who need to take their in person practical this spring and grow our team even larger and a few new faces we’ve onboarded over the holiday season! The training committee will be meeting monthly to iron out the training calendar for the rest of the year on February 1st and all members are invited to participate in that process. Email JDanias@boch-cert.org to get involved.

February 3rd we have our Annual Member Meeting where we will be having elections and summary of our work in 2021, as well as some notes for the future from the Steering Committee and Training Committee. All current members are welcome to join us and those interested in volunteering can also sit in at any of our monthly meetings. See CBarker@boch-cert.org, DMiller@boch-cert.org, or JDanias@boch-cert.org for more information. As always our member calendar, hosted right here on BOCH-CERT.com is always updated and available anytime.

Thanks to everyone for pulling together this holiday season and getting the job done! Special thanks to our new members who have come out and volunteered in amazing numbers showing us how important it is to continue to invite the community into our organization and build a bigger, better, Emergency Response Team for our towns.

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