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Puerto Rico National Guard enhances response force package

By Army National Guard Sgt. Robert Owens | Puerto Rico National Guard | Feb. 23, 2012

SALINAS, Puerto Rico - The Puerto Rico National Guard has a new emergency response element of citizen-Soldiers and Airmen known as the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high yield explosive enhanced response force package, or CERF-P.

After a rigorous, week-long qualification trial in February at Camp Santiago Joint Maneuver Training Center here, the Puerto Rico CERF-P team is the latest to earn official validation to support local emergency first responders.

The CERF-P elements are comprised of traditional National Guard Soldiers and Airmen - trained and equipped to integrate into the National Incident Management System to plan and conduct casualty search and extraction, medical triage and treatment, ambulatory and non-ambulatory decontamination, and fatality search and recovery.

The initial establishment of CERF-Ps place at least one in each of the ten Federal Emergency Management Agency regions and are unique to the National Guard.

Comprised of nearly 200 members, the Puerto Rico National Guard CERF-P is ready to support at the right time and place to save lives and mitigate human suffering.