For a group of volunteers that gives countless hours to the village, New Lenox gave a bit of time back Monday to recognize the Community Emergency Response Team.
CERT, which just graduated its sixth class of emergency-trained residents, was honored during Monday's Village Board meeting for receiving the Governor's Home Town Award for its "Preparing Citizens for Emergencies and Disasters" program.
The prestigious award was presented during a ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Springfield last month and recognizes volunteers for their work to improve their communities.
Since the CERT program’s inception in September 2009, more than 180 residents have completed the 20-hour CERT class, which teaches citizens how to prepare for emergencies and disasters. Graduates of the program participate in ongoing training, volunteer their time at community events and stand ready to assist first responders during times of crisis.
For example, CERT volunteers were an integral part of the efforts to help residents during in February.
"I'm very proud of your efforts. (You put your neighbors above your own self," Mayor Tim Baldermann said. "I look forward to seeing you at the next blizzard."
Public safety chief Dan Martin of the remarked on how he knew this community would make CERT special here when 92 people showed up for its first informational meeting a couple years back.
That enthusiasm has translated into this recognition as well as a , an event designed to test the skills of CERT teams throughout the state.