See Us In Action

Events attended by AAACERT members.

Group Helps with Food Distribution

AAACERT member in safety vest holds boxes full of food; a car has pulled up and the door is open to receive food.
AAACERT member (green hat) assist with food distribution.

AAACERT was and is honored to support Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Anne Arundel County Department of Aging & Disabilities, and our fellow citizens of #AnneArundel County with a Dec. 3 food distribution.

On #ThankYouThursday,  the OEM posted the following message: “Today we would like to thank the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging & Disabilities and Anne Arundel County and City of Annapolis CERT volunteers for all of their efforts to provide food to the residents of #AnneArundel County. Last week, OEM had the opportunity to assist with Fresh Food Friday to distribute over 500 boxes of fresh produce and pass out 300 tote bags of preparedness materials!”

Congratulations To Firefighter Recruit Class #60

AAACERT member Neal Anders provides parking directions to family members of a graduating firefighter before Firefighter Recruit Class #60 graduation ceremony.

Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) provided traffic support to honor and assist the Anne Arundel Fire Training Academy’s graduation of Recruit Class #60. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the graduating class was unable to hold their ceremony safely indoors. AAACERT members stepped up to facilitate the outdoor ceremony, helping to park around 100 cars on the Training Academy Yard and directing the recruits’ proud family members, in vehicles, to the stage area for pictures and cheers for their new firefighter. AAACERT volunteer members supported this important logistical task so that fire department personnel were available to participate in the recruits’ graduation ceremony.

Members Support Downtown Annapolis As Safe Health Practice Ambassadors

AAACERT members Joseph and Rosy Dorffner pause while serving Annapolis, May 30. Members Greg Burch, Joseph Whitworth, and Laurie Goodell (not pictured) also served that day in the state capital city.

Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) members are assisting the City of Annapolis in the downtown area as safe health practice ambassadors. While on their walks, the AAACERT members encourage downtown guests to maintain social distancing, avoid large groups, and wear masks. When they have masks available, they are also handing out face coverings and offering hand sanitizer to those who want them. AAACERT has no enforcement role while performing this function, though they are equipped with radios to maintain situational awareness or contact police, if necessary.

Being safe practice ambassadors is only one role AAACERT is serving right now. Members are also volunteering at the Anne Arundel County Food Bank in Crownsville, the County Donation Center in Odenton, the food drives in Brooklyn Park and Annapolis, and the county Office of Emergency Management call center in Glen Burnie. To date, AAACERT has supported the county with more than 1800 hours of volunteer service since the stay-home orders began in March.

‘They See The Smiles In Our Eyes’: Masked Volunteers Distribute Food To Families

AAACERT Coordinator Joe Dorffner, AAACERT President Bruce Morgenstern, Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, and Pastor Sheryl D. Menendez at the food distribution on April 27 at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center in Annapolis.

The City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management (OEM) tasked nine trained, certified volunteers from the Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) to support the city’s fire department, police, and police cadets during a food distribution to help families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic on April 27. AAACERT’s roles at the event, which took place at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center located at 237 Hilltop Lane in Annapolis, included traffic management and maintaining social distancing. Volunteers at the event all wore face masks and gloves as Personal Protective Equipment.

Pastor Sheryl D. Menendez of Light of the World Family Ministries and the nonprofit Restoration Community Development Corporation in Glen Burnie, who helped organize the event, said, “People lined up in cars for several blocks a couple of hours before we were scheduled to open. What does that tell you about how serious this issue is? So many people in need are determined to feed their families.”

After pausing for a photo with Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, AAACERT President Bruce Morgenstern, and AAACERT Coordinator Joe Dorffner, Pastor Menendez continued:

“To organize this food distribution in Annapolis, which we call Pantry on the Go, we partnered with Diana Taylor — the Senior Manager from the county’s Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families — as well as the Maryland Food Bank. We generally give out from 8,000 to 10,000 pounds of food. On a day like this, it was 8,000 pounds. We did a similar food distribution on April 16 at Whitmore Park in Annapolis.”

Ten AAACERT volunteers helped with traffic management and social distancing at the April 16 food distribution. To date, AAACERT has contributed more than 650 hours of community service in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

‘They can see the smiles in our eyes and in our body language. They hear the smiles in our voices. And that does a lot.’

Pastor Sheryl D. Menendez

“We also run a Maryland Food Bank pantry at our Brooklyn Park location, where we give out food every Monday,” said Pastor Menendez. “We’ve got another food distribution coming up in Bay Ridge Gardens off Forest Drive in Annapolis around noon on May 6. We have four events scheduled over the next four or five weeks.”

Unfortunately, the demand was so high that volunteers ran out of boxes of food and had to turn away a long line of families in need at least an hour before the event had been scheduled to close.

“I’m crying because we are not going to have enough food,” said Pastor Menendez. “We give out quality food, including fruits and vegetables, from the Maryland Food Bank; they get chicken, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, melons. And more than 25 restaurants provide pre-cooked meals through Feed Anne Arundel. This crowd-funded effort pays restaurants across Anne Arundel County to prepare nutritious meals for those in our community in need. Today, we received 600 prepared meals; two weeks ago, we got 1,000.”

How does food distribution make a difference?

“A lot of people for the first time find themselves without jobs, and there are some folks whose unemployment or stimulus checks have not come through yet,” said Pastor Menendez. “Even that’s not enough, because people have to pay rent. On top of that, our school systems are closed, so the kids are not receiving meals there. We are seeing how food insecurity is compounding mental health issues. People worried about feeding their families are experiencing an increase in stress, depression, and anxiety. So what we’re doing helps people on several levels.

“When people come out to receive food, they can’t see us smiling behind our face masks. But they can see the smiles in our eyes and in our body language. They hear the smiles in our voices. And that does a lot.”

Members Assist Responders at Preparedness Expo

Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) members supported the annual Preparedness Expo on Sept. 21 at Marley Station in Glen Burnie. Arriving by 6:30 a.m. for the operational briefing, CERT members then took their stations to participate in traffic control, assisting vendors with set-up, directing vehicles within the perimeter, and helping to provide extra eyes and ears for general safety. Most of the CERT members stayed to work the entire event, including teardown, which concluded around 3:00 p.m.

The Preparedness Expo is a yearly event hosted by the Anne Arundel Office of Emergency Management to familiarize the public with the many functions and activities of the response community. At the 2019 Expo, more than 45 participating organizations provided displays of their skills, literature, gifts, and personal representatives to help individuals and families learn how to be ready for disasters and incidents. Exhibitors invited children to climb into vehicles to see the dashboards; animal handlers gave demonstrations of canine aptitude; and fire personnel gave live demonstrations of safety or extinguishing practice.

“You just don’t realize everything these [responders] do every day,” remarked one visitor in passing, “and we are so blessed to have them in our community.” She added her thanks to responders for their availability, time, and training.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security designates every September as National Preparedness Month. Visit the agency’s website to find numerous resources aimed at helping families be ready for any emergency or disaster they might face.

AAACERT trains volunteers in disaster response skills and emergency preparedness. AAACERT volunteers assist others in our community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help. When activated under the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management, or the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management, AAACERT supports emergency response agencies.

AAACERT at the SPCA Walk – Spring 2019

On Sunday, June 16, nine Anne Arundel – Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) members volunteered at the SPCA of Anne Arundel County Walk for the Animals at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.

Mark, Karen, and Dudley Demyanovich (pictured above) “manned” the booth at the Vendor Village while the rest of the team (including Mark) directed almost 1,000 vehicles through Quiet Waters Park without incident.

Events like this SPCA fundraiser allow AAACERT members to practice their traffic management, incident management, and communications skills while simultaneously helping a valuable organization.

AAACERT trains volunteers in disaster response skills and emergency preparedness. The group’s volunteers assist others in our community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help. When activated under the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management or the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management, AAACERT supports emergency response agencies. For more information about how to prepare for emergencies and support the first responders who keep our families and communities safe, visit aaacert.org.

Members Serve as City Parade Marshals on Memorial Day

On May 27, 2019, twelve Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) members served as city parade marshals for the City of Annapolis’ Memorial Day Parade.

This year’s parade was a great success with zero incidents. The event earned praise from both city officials and parade coordinators.

AAACERT welcomes this opportunity to honor those who have given their lives in defense of our country. Our thoughts are with them and their Gold Star families.

What do parade marshals do?

As parade marshals, AAACERT members serve as the city’s eyes and ears. They help authorities to keep the event safe by ensuring crowds stay clear of the parade elements. In addition, they guide participants to engage safely. And at parades such as this one, sponsored by the City of Annapolis, AAACERT is responsible for line-up, safety inspections, and accompanying the parade participants.

Not content to be mere safety spotters, many AAACERT members also sported first aid kits, standing ready to step in with immediate assistance if needed.

Parades serve as excellent opportunities for AAACERT members to practice their crowd management, emergency communication, and incident response training. AAACERT is the only group that is certified by the City of Annapolis to work as parade marshals.

What happens at the parade?

Annapolis holds one of the largest Memorial Day Parades in Maryland. Participants include military and local groups, along with color guards, marching bands, veterans, local officials, and motorcades. Traditionally, the parade starts at Amos Garrett Boulevard and West Street. The parade proceeds down West Street to Church Circle, then down Main Street to City Dock. After the parade, the city holds a wreath-laying ceremony at Susan Campbell Park.

The annual Memorial Day Parade represents an opportunity to pay our respects to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Photo: U.S. Flag Stand on National Heroes Cemetery (Credit: Jenna Hamra on Pexels)

Upper Marlboro Community Day

Making sure that the first time we work together isn’t during an emergency or disaster, AAACERT members Bruce Morgenstern, Rosy Dorffner, Joe Dorffner, and Marilyn Zachariah (not pictured) supported Upper Marlboro CERT with the Town of Upper Marlboro Community Day as volunteer ambassadors, providing safety/security and general support.

Upper Marlboro CERT members shown in the photo are Wanda Leonard, president of Upper Marlboro CERT and Town Commissioner, Peggy Keller, and Charmaine Cook.

Annapolis MLK Day Parade 2019

On Saturday, April 13, nine Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) members served as City Parade Marshals for the 5th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade.

This year’s parade was a great success, registering zero incidents; the event earned praise from both city officials and parade coordinators.

As city parade marshals, AAACERT members serve as the city’s eyes and ears, helping authorities to keep the event safe by ensuring crowds stay clear of the parade elements, and guiding participants to engage safely.  At parades like this one that are sponsored by the City of Annapolis, AAACERT is responsible for line-up, safety inspections, and accompanying the parade participants.

Not content to be mere safety spotters, many AAACERT members also sported first aid kits, standing ready to step in with immediate assistance if needed.

Parades serve as excellent opportunities for AAACERT members to practice their crowd management, emergency communication, and incident response training. AAACERT is the only group that is certified by the City of Annapolis to work as parade marshals.

Photo: Tom Cagle, the Lead City Parade Marshall, and AAACERT members after the parade. (Credit: Mike)

St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2019

On Sunday, March 10, 11 Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) members served as City Parade Marshals for the 7th annual Annapolis St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

As City Parade Marshals, AAACERT members serve as the city’s eyes and ears, helping authorities to keep the event safe by ensuring crowds stay clear of the parade elements, and participants engage safely. Not content to be mere safety spotters, many AAACERT members also sported first aid kits, standing ready to step in with immediate assistance if needed.

Parades serve as excellent opportunities for AAACERT members to practice their crowd management, emergency communication, and incident response training. AAACERT is the only volunteer group that is certified by the City of Annapolis to work as parade marshals.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

AAACERT Assists City of Annapolis with Memorial Day Parade

28 May 2018: Anne Arundel & Annapolis CERT members assisted the City of Annapolis with the annual Memorial Day Parade serving as Parade Marshals. The parade began on Amos Garret, proceeded down West Street, went around Church Circle and down Main Street and ended in front of the Market House. CERT Member’s duties including lining up the parade participants in proper order, ensuring parade safety, observing for hazards during the parade and assisting Annapolis PD with traffic control.

The parade included fire engines from Annapolis as well as privately owned apparatus, scouts, marching bands, dance troupes, car clubs, politicians, military veteran groups and others.

AAACERT Parade Marshals were specifically trained by the Annapolis City Office of Emergency Management.

If you are interested in learning about Anne Arundel & Annapolis CERT, Emergency – Disaster preparedness or how you may become involved with AAACERT contact us through our “Contact” page.

Anne Arundel – Annapolis CERT to assist American Red Cross with Smoke Detector Program

The Anne Arundel – Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will assist the American Red Cross and local Fire Departments with fire education and installing fire alarms on Saturday, 16 January, from 10AM to 4PM.

Home fires in the United States kill more than 2,500 people annually and cause an average of 13,000 injuries. Fire prevention is crucial and achievable.

The volunteers will be canvassing the Pasadena and Annapolis areas and offering to install smoke alarms in homes… for FREE! Homeowners will also receive some important information regarding fire safety and checklists.

So be on the lookout.

If you have any photos from the event, feel free to send to communications@aaacert.org

AAACERT Assists City of Annapolis with July 4th Parade

Anne Arundel – Annapolis CERT members assisted the City of Annapolis with the annual July 4th parade serving as Parade Marshals. The parade began at on Amos Garret proceeded down West Street around Church Circle and down Main Street and ended in front of the Market House. CERT Member’s duties including lining up the parade participants in proper order, ensuring parade safety, observing for hazards during the parade and assisting Annapolis PD with traffic control.
The parade included fire engines from Annapolis as well as privately owned apparatus, scouts, marching bands, dance troupes, car clubs, politicians, military veteran groups and others.

AAACERT Parade Marshals were specifically trained by the Annapolis City Office of Emergency Management.

If you are interested in learning about Anne Arundel – Annapolis CERT, Emergency – Disaster preparedness or how you may become involved with AAACERT contact us through our “Contact” page.