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Feb-07-2008 11:11printcomments

Keizer CERT Team Members Respond to Snowbound Detroit

The coordinator for Marion County CERT groups hopes new CERT teams are formed.

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(KEIZER, Ore.) - The Keizer Citizen Emergency Response Team has been dispatched to the Idanha and Detroit area east of Salem to assist residents who are under feet of snow.

The group is trained through the Keizer Fire Department and their recent activation to service was called by Marion County Emergency Management to help with relief efforts for homeowner's in regions.

Stephanie Cooke with the Keizer CERT Team says the people really need the assistance, "At this point, residents have no one to help remove snow from roofs that can sometimes be large amounts as we saw today in Idanha. Other relief groups are unwilling to help because of liabilities and lack of training."

Those 8 members of the Keizer CERT traveled to Idanha and spoke with their mayor Karen Clark and were deployed to go door to door to residents in an effort to help those that had snow levels on their roofs that was a risk of collapsing, Cooke said.

"We mainly aided those that are unable to help themselves such as the disabled and elderly. Residents were extremely grateful and a pleasure to work with, even offering us hot cocoa and smiles."

Cooke says the CERT programs are extremely important and effective and she hopes that other communities organize this special community response teams to aid in time of disaster.

"I know that the cities and counties in the state could benefit from knowing how they may train their residents to help in times of emergency."

Today Keizer CERT was back at it with 7 volunteers who returned to the Detroit/Idanha area.

Cooke added that an opportunity for people who would like to become involved is right around the corner.

"Keizer will be having a training for new members starting on March 6th at 7:00 PM and running for 8 weeks total. Salem will have one on March 4th. Silverton is working on starting a program. Gates has a small group of approximately 50 members and I am unsure of training but I have contact information. Woodburn is offering training through a private entity and their are other Fire Departments/City Halls that are contemplating starting a CERT program."

In addition to working with the Keizer program, Cooke is the coordinator for Marion County CERT groups as well, through Marion County Citizen Corps.

You can visit the Keizer CERT Yahoo Group page at

Contact Stephanie Cooke at for more information.

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