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Denver Is Only as Strong as Its People and Communities

For the past five years Carolyn Bluhm Community Relations Specialist for the City and County of Denver, Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has been the driving force behind the Denver Community Emergency Response Training (Denver CERT), dedicating thousands of hours to training diverse communities.

As the Community Relations Specialist for the City and County of Denver, Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS), Carolyn H Bluhm is responsible Denver’s Community Emergency Response Training (Denver CERT)and the Emergency Preparedness Programs.  The purpose of OEMHS’ Community Preparedness Programis to harness the power of every individual and organizations through education, training, and volunteer service to make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.

The mission of Denver’s OEMHSOutreach and Education programs is to enhance our community’s preparedness by: 

  1. Providing emergency mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery training to individuals to assist their family, neighbors and fellow individuals in a disaster/emergency situation until first response personnel become available.
  2. Providing outreach and education programs to the individuals and organizations of Denver to prepare for a disaster/emergency situations when they find themselves in a disaster/emergency event.
  3. Proving training to individuals that will enable them to assist emergency volunteer organizations in preparedness, responce and recovery situations and/or community service activities.

The ability of our community to recover from a devastating terrorist event or any natural disaster/emergency requires active planning, participation, and cooperation from all members of society. Each individual and organization shares the responsibility for preparedness. By encouraging preparedness and hazard mitigation, training can help minimize the effects of a disaster and facilitate a faster recovery.

Since May 2007 to December 2011, Denver has registered over 2200 individuals from the Denver metro area in our training programs.  We have also developed relationships/partnerships with a wide variety of local groups to conduct training. The groups provide space and publicity for the training, while OEMHS provides the trainers and training materials through their Federal grant funding. Some of the partnerships and training locations have included: Center for African American Health, Colorado Asian Health Education and Promotion, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community, Denver’s Commission for People with Disability, Denver’s Commission on Aging, Denver Indian Center - Native Americans, Denver International Airport, Organizational Management for Emergency General Activity (O.M.E.G.A.), faith based organizations, the Gay and Gray community, Governmental employees and agencies (Federal, State and Local), Colorado Muslim Society, St. Cajetan Catholic Church - Latino Community, Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) Colorado Section District 13 - City and County of Denver, American Red Cross, Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP), Colorado Federal Executive Board, Rocky Mountain Intergovernmental Continuity Council,Colorado Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (COVOAD), READY Colorado, Colorado North Central Region Citizen Corp Council (10 counties and 16 cities in the Denver metro area), Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment – Preparedness Division, and many others.

It is our honor at the OEMHS to serve the many communities of Denver.

Carolyn Bluhm is Community Relations Specialist for the City and County of Denver, Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and, for the past five years, responsible for the Denver Community Emergency Response Training (Denver CERT).