Bears are a consortium formed by the radio clubs and operators in Brevard County to provide emergency communications assistance to county and municipal agencies as well as the National Weather Service, Florida Division of Emergency Management, American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other public and private service agencies.
Bears are a fully formed non-profit Florida corporation and has a 501(c)(3) finding by the Internal Revenue Service. All participating members are volunteer communications enthusiasts and receive no remuneration for their services.
In November 1996, Bears signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Brevard County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to fulfill all RACES functions whenever the OEM Director so decrees. This MOU provides the authority and certifies the bilateral commitment of support and resources.
Members of the eleven participating amateur radio operators clubs have been provided proper identification through the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), or
Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES), or the
Radio Emergency Associated Communications Team (REACT).
Brevard Emergency Amateur Radio Services Home Page
What is CERT and how will it help you, your family and your neighbors?
A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a group that is organized and receives special training that enhances their ability to prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate against a major emergency or disaster situation. CERT is organized under the Brevard County Department of Fire Rescue.
When a major emergency overwhelms normally available resources, Response delays of hours or even days may occur; someone with "basic skills training" should be able to immediately assist those in distress. CERT recognizes that a well-prepared community is a vital resource to professionals. Realistically, it's not a question of IF a Brevard Community will face a disaster, but WHEN. CERT is about being prepared for that disaster, whenever, wherever it comes.
People will have to learn to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate
life saving and life sustaining needs. The CERT course will benefit any Brevard citizen who takes it. This individual will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Additionally, if a Brevard community wants to supplement its response capability after a disaster, civilians can be recruited and trained as neighborhood, business, and government teams that, in essence, will be auxiliary responders. These groups can provide immediate assistance to victims in their area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not had the training, and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional responders with prioritization and allocation of resources following a disaster.
What Does the Course Involve?
The CERT course is delivered in your Brevard community by a team of first responders who have the requisite knowledge and skills to instruct the sessions. CERT training for community groups is usually delivered in 2 1/2 hour sessions, one evening a week over a 7 week period, at a location that is agreed upon by the students and the instructors. To learn more, go here.
You don't have to! Brevard's response to the CERT program has been spectacular! In fact, there is probably a CERT already active in your community. Also, don't worry that you might be too late, new teams are forming all the time, and new members are always needed! And remember, you use your new CERT training first in your own home, to help protect your own family!
Great! We are committed to making this program widespread throughout Brevard County and look forward to our team training courses. If you would like to join the CERT program as an individual or as a group, please contact please contact John Gore, Brevard County Fire Rescuet (321) 633-2056 - Email: John.Gore@brevardcounty.us
To Print an application form for CERT Membership, select the one of the following formats:
PDF MS Word
For more information on the CERT program:
Voluntary Organizations Active Disaster (VOAD)
VOAD is a national non-operational umbrella organization, which gives each of its members the privilege of independently- but cooperatively- providing and implementing its resources when responding to disasters. VOAD is committed to the philosophy that the time to train, prepare, and become acquainted with each other is best achieved prior to the time of actual disaster response.
The Brevard County VOAD meets on a regular basis to plan for and to educate the members about how they may service their community during and after a disaster. The organization seeks to prevent the duplication of effort by coordinating the availability of needed services in disasters such as fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods and hazardous materials spills. Examples of their resources are: food or clothing distribution, search and rescue, temporary housing, childcare, talent bank and stress disorder counseling. Brevard VOAD is the sponsor of the BREVARD COUNTY DISASTER SHOWCASE held annually at the Melbourne Auditorium in May.
Organizations interested in becoming involved can contact VOAD:
The Brevard Chairman is Jim Bentley. His Email address is:
email@example.com and his cell phone is (321) 258-2460.
VOAD meets on the second Thursday of each month at 9:00 AM at the Solar Energy Center, BCC Cocoa Campus, 1679 Clearlake Road.