Aroostook’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service Prepares to Assist First Responders in Emergencies

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CARIBOU, Maine (WAGM) – In a major disaster situation, first responders are often assisted by a citizen emergency response team. Newssource 8’s Corey Bouchard says more about training these citizen volunteers in case they’re needed in an emergency.

Brian Goff – Community Outreach Planner – Aroostook EMA “Today we are doing CERT training which is the Citizen Emergency Response Team”

On Saturday, members of the Aroostook County Ameteur Radio Emergency Service, or ARES, spent the day learning CERT training. According to Brian Goff, community outreach planner for the Aroostook County Emergency Management Agency, CERT teams are made up of community members who are there to help support our first responders.

“If we had a major disaster, our first responders would be in such demand that our CERT team is there to help with search and rescue, help with basic first aid”

Although in an emergency the ARES team would not necessarily perform search and rescue operations or provide basic first aid, they will still play an important role.

“If the cell towers are down, the electricity is down, we can use our HAM radios and that will help get the word out…We have HAM radio operators who are skilled on an array of different radios, CB , a different network from telecommunications really, we even have our own antenna that would reach most of the county.

Goff adds that today’s training will be followed next month, where the ARES team will put the skills learned today to the test by performing a real-life exercise. Corey Bouchard, Information Source 8

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