Holden CERT is managed by the town fire department, under the direction of Chief Jack Chandler and CERT Director Rebecca Evanoff. Our office and emergency response equipment are located in the Public Safety Annex at 1384 Main Street, across from Wachusett Regional High School.
As part of the South Wachusett Region CERT program, we operate in conjunction with the community emergency response teams in Boylston, West Boylston, and Sterling, often sharing training resources and assisting each other’s teams as needed.
"Do the greatest good for the greatest number of people." We are committed to helping our community during an event, emergency, or disaster and assisting
professional public safety personnel.
Holden CERT members are community volunteers dedicated to helping their neighbors in times of need. After receiving comprehensive FEMA training, members are equipped and ready to assist when needed.
Holden CERT actively promotes emergency preparedness and planning. We participate in Holden Days, Public Safety Day, and most recently aided Holden police in traffic control during a major traffic accident on Rte. 122A.
Chief John "Jack" Chandler III began his career as a call firefighter/EMT for the Sterling Fire Department in 1976, becoming a lieutenant in 1985 and a deputy chief in 1993. Jack became the full-time chief for the West Boylston Fire Department in 1999 where he served until his appointment as chief of the Holden Fire Department in 2006
Rebecca joined CERT in 2007. After completing the basic CERT course and becoming Holden's team director, she attended the Emergency Management Institute in Maryland, receiving CERT Train-the-Trainer and CERT Program Manager training. She coordinates basic CERT training for our members as well as other team development opportunities such as HAM radio courses, sheltering, TEEN CERT, Animal Response, First Responder training and more.
2007 - The Town runs an ad asking for volunteers and establishes a regional training group for CERT. The main function of the group is to provide additional manpower during events and emergencies. The team initially shared offices and storage space with the fire department in the old fire station at 1384 Main Street.
2008 - Holden CERT assists Holden emergency services professionals by manning and operating an emergency shelter for two weeks in the Senior Center during the catastrophic December ice storm.
2010 -The Holden Public Safety Building opens and becomes the new headquarters for the fire department and CERT team.
2011 - We assisted emergency response partners after the central Mass. tornado, returning phone calls, working with the Red Cross and working shifts at the Medical Reserve Corps shelter at the Big E.
2012 - Holden CERT moves back into the former fire station building, now called the Annex. The team now operates out of dedicated office, conference, and storage space.
2013 - Utilizing the federal surplus equipment program, Holden CERT obtains a used Air Force panel van and refurbishes it into a community emergency management vehicle with storage space for gear and supplies. CERT assists fire personnel with numerous brush fires in town.
A Homeland Security grant enabled the Emergency Management Department to purchase an enclosed trailer for transporting equipment. A new two-seat ATV acquired through a Citizen Corps competitive grant was purchased to assist team members in responding to incidents.
In the fall of 2013, the team successfully launched a Teen CERT program in Holden, recruiting and training 12 area teens interested in emergency services.
2014 - Social Media presence is established with a dedicated website, Twitter feed, and Facebook account. Holden CERT assists in coordinating the Oriol Fireworks in August.