Home News Infrastructure Town Of Brookline Hosts 14th Annual MRC/CERT/EP Buddy Volunteer Celebration

Town Of Brookline Hosts 14th Annual MRC/CERT/EP Buddy Volunteer Celebration


Emergency Management Director Fire Chief John F. Sullivan is pleased to share the success of the 14th annual MRC/CERT/EP Buddy Volunteer Celebration.

On Thursday, September 21, 2023, the Brookline Police Departments Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), the Brookline Public Health and Human Service Departments Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and the Office of Emergency Management collaborated to host the 14th annual MRC/CERT/EP Buddy Volunteer Celebration.


Image captions

  • Presentation of the 2023 Trudy Cohen Volunteer Service Award to Sheila O’Flaherty Left to right: Sara Schaffer, Casey Hatchett, Sheila O’Flaherty, Tommy Vitolo.
  • Presentation of the 2023 Community Emergency Preparedness Appreciation Award to EJ Bennett. Left to right: Sigalle Reiss, Sara Schaffer, Tommy Vitolo, EJ Bennett.
  • Sara Schaffer and Sophie Gordon presenting a refresher class on preparing “Go bags.”
  • “Thank you” succulents were given to all volunteers at the celebration.

The annual celebration recognizes the contributions that Brookline’s MRC/CERT/EP Buddy volunteers have made to support the town, residents, and community partners.

The night began with an Emergency Preparedness and Response Volunteer Refresher Training, led by Sara Schaffer, Sophie Gordon and Lt. Casey Hatchett, followed by a buffet-style dinner, served by Catering by Andrew.

Town Administrator Chas Carey, State Rep. Tommy Vitolo, Select Board Member John VanScoyoc, and other Town officials spoke, recognizing the critical work of the MRC and CERT Programs and its volunteers.

“The Town of Brookline is grateful to our CERT/MRC/ Emergency Preparedness Buddy Volunteers who work to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable residents,” said Town Administrator Carey. “The work that our volunteers do has helped to enrich the lives of our senior residents and ensure their safety during times of emergency. It is an honor to recognize these volunteers.”

During the event, EP Buddies Coordinator Sophie Gordon and CERT/MRC/EP Buddy Volunteer Rob Rosengard presented a touching memorial tribute to EP Buddy, Leo. Leo and his wife came from Russia and had no family in the States. He became an EP Buddy after a scare in the ER about eight years ago and recently passed away. Leo’s story epitomizes the need for this program and the importance of social connections.

This year the Town honored Chris Dippel, Aaron Gilman, Toshiki Kobayashi, and Sheila O’Flaherty for their extraordinary commitment to the CERT/MRC programs and to the town’s effort to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and mitigate emergencies.

Additionally, the Brookline Senior Center and Brookline Public Health Nurse EJ Bennett was honored as a recipient of the 2023 Community Emergency Preparedness Appreciation Award. This award recognizes the Senior Centers’ work to support emergency preparedness efforts and to ensure the greatest outcomes for Brookline seniors, and EJ for her commitment to the town and the health and safety of residents.

The Town of Brookline has scheduled a 10-week CERT training session to begin on Monday, October 16, 2023, and run for 10 Mondays.

Classes will run from 06:00 p.m. – 08:30 p.m. at the Brookline Public Safety Headquarters, 350 Washington Street, Brooine, MA 02445.

Those interested in attending the training can complete an online application by visiting here.