Lang Lang CERT celebrates two decades of community service

Ambulance Victoria’s (AV) volunteer first responder team in Lang Lang will mark a major milestone this week, celebrating 20-years of providing emergency care to the community.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers are dispatched at the same time as an ambulance to potentially time-critical emergencies, including traffic accidents and medical cases.

A group of Community Emergency Response Team members standing by the side of a Ambulance Victoria helicopter.

The Lang Lang Community Emergency Response Team making a visit to the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services at Essendon in 2022.

Volunteers are trained to provide advanced first aid in remote communities and surrounding towns and play an integral role in AV’s emergency response as they are often first to arrive on scene.

Lang Lang CERT Team Leader Rosie Keane, a founding member, said the team had evolved from its original group of 20 volunteers.

“More than 100 people have been part of the team in the past 20 years. Currently we have 17 members, with a couple having just completed their course,” Mrs Keane said.

“Over the past two decades, we have been able to assist the community in a variety of ways covering 600 square kilometres of small communities.

“More than 20 of our team members have gone on to become Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedics and 10 non-emergency staff.”

A group of Community Emergency Response Team posing for a photograph.

The Lang Lang Community Emergency Response Team in 2018.

In addition to the group’s first responder work, the team has also helped to place more than 60 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) across town and in surrounding areas, in partnership with the local Bendigo Bank.

CERT members have also provided life-saving Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and AED training for hundreds of locals through community groups including mother’s groups, sport clubs, schools, kindergartens and rotary venues.

Lang Lang CERT will mark its 20-year milestone with a local morning tea on 19 April, with past and present members and key community stakeholders expected to attend.

Mrs Keane encouraged local Lang Lang residents to consider becoming a CERT member.

“I wanted to be part of the community, and this was a way for me to learn and assist people in their time of need and give back to others. For all members, I feel that is why we join,” she said.

“For others, like university students, being a First Responder gives them a great deal of experience before they become paramedics.”

A group of Community Emergency Response Team members standing by the side of a helicopter.

The Lang Lang Community Emergency Response Team with the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services at Traralgon in 2014.

Becoming a First Responder with AV offers many personal benefits, including the opportunity to:

  • Gain practical life skills and a recognised qualification.
  • Enjoy a sense of achievement and fulfilment.
  • Meet people and make new friends and connections.
  • Enhance your own career prospects and learning pathways.

Applicants who want to become a CERT member undergo a brief interview process as well as comprehensive training, including a driving course.

Monthly training is required as well as completing roster hours to ensure skills are maintained and authority to practice remains active.

CERT members are required to live within 12km of the community they serve.

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