Harris County CERT Coordinator Honored for Preparing Teens for Emergencies
(Houston, TX) – Harris County Citizen Corps Teen CERT coordinator Rosie Flores has been honored with the 2016 Emergency Management Association of Texas (EMAT) Community Service Award for her arduous dedication to helping area students train for disasters.
After a lifetime in the field of education with the Houston Independent School District, Flores began her work with the Teen CERT Program in 2004. Since then she has worked with numerous Harris County school districts to promote and incorporate emergency preparedness training at their high schools. Flores has brought the program to 77 high schools that have helped train more than 13,105 high school students.
“Our local Teen CERT program is successful because Flores has made it her mission to help students get the training they need to develop strong leadership skills and a sense of responsibility to their community,” said Harris County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Sloan. “Flores is a tireless leader with a big heart and a passion for Teen CERT.”
The EMAT Community Service Award recognizes a person who has provided leadership, guidance, facilities, equipment, or support to an emergency management program, a community, or the profession in the furtherance of mitigation, preparedness, response, or recovery activities. Flores received the award at the EMAT Leadership Symposium on February 9th in San Marcos, Texas.
"It is an honor to be recognized by the Emergency Management Association of Texas for doing something that I love to do," said Flores. "Teen CERT is successful thanks to the collaborators who make it work and the students’ desire to learn."
The program is a Harris County Citizens Corps initiative and is coordinated through the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management. Teen CERT empowers teens as first responders for community emergencies. Through team-building exercises, Teen CERT engages students in search-and-rescue tactics, disaster relief, triaging accident victims and fire suppression exercises. They are also versed in disaster psychology and terrorism awareness.
Skills are attained through the 30-hour curriculum during the school day or in afterschool programs. At the end of the
program, final drills are held at the Harris County Fire and Sheriff’s Training Academy to test the students’ community
“It’s wonderful to see high school students take on the responsibility of preparing themselves and their families for emergencies,” added Sloan. “They are acquiring skills that make our community stronger and better prepared.”
Teen CERT is a component of the comprehensive school safety, security and emergency management program. Students serving their communities can make a significant difference in the culture and climate of the school to improve safety, security and academic achievement.
Flores has also been instrumental in creating the Harris County Citizen Corps Teen CERT scholarship program. Five
$1,000 scholarships have been awarded since 2010. She is currently working to find scholarship sponsors for the upcoming school year.
Harris County Citizen Corps has more than 26,000 trained CERT volunteers, more than 21,000 Volunteers in Police Services members, more than 4,000 Medical Reserve Corps volunteers, almost 6,100 USA on Watch volunteers and 24 Fire Corps agencies.
To join Harris County Citizen Corps or for more information about its programs go to www.harriscountycitizencorps.org or call (281) JOIN NOW (564-6669).