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CAER of Metro Huntsville
Community Awareness Emergency Response (CAER) of Metro-Huntsville works in close cooperation with the Madison County Emergency Planning Committee. The relationship between these two entities fosters and promotes sound environmental practices and accountability in the business and corporate setting so that the residents of Huntsville and Madison County are ensured of an environmentally safe place to live, work, and play. In order to promote this message to businesses and to the local communities, CAER of Metro Huntsville offers monthly topics of interest on environmental issues which affects local industries and response organizations.
CAER meetings are open to the general public, and are usually held on the 1st (first) Thursday of every month at 11:00 a.m. Please contact the Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Management Agency at (256) 427-5130 for meeting locations.
Membership of CAER is open to all companies or businesses that manufacture, use, generate, store, or transport chemicals within Madison County. Governmental agencies may also become members. CAER insists that member companies be in full compliance with all applicable environmental rules and regulations and is a member of the Madison County Emergency Planning Committee. In addition, the Director of the Huntsville- Madison County Emergency Management Agency is a member of the Board of Directors of CAER. Each newly proposed member is voted on by the active membership of CAER. Members understand that full compliance with state and federal environmental rules and regulations is expected.
The goals of CAER which are met through the cooperation among member industries, companies, businesses, and the Madison County Emergency Planning Committee are: to provide information to the public on hazardous materials, review and update established emergency response plans, expand industry's involvement in community response planning and emergency networks, integrate industrial plant emergency response plans with other community emergency response plans to form an overall plan and capability for handling chemical emergencies, and to involve members of the local community and emergency response groups in the development and implementation of an integrated community emergency response plan.
To maintain employee safety at the workplace and environmental quality within the community, CAER coordinates various federally mandated training programs for industry personnel. This training is also made available free of charge to selected public safety employees from agencies such as the Huntsville Police and Fire Departments, City of Madison Police and Fire Departments, county volunteer fire departments, the Sheriff's Department, and the Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Management Agency. Some topics which may be addressed during training sessions include: identifying hazardous materials, selecting proper personal protective equipment, hazard assessment, rescue procedures, incident command, and decontamination procedures.
Commitment to Public Safety and the Community
In addition to providing educational programs and training for businesses and emergency response groups, CAER also provides donations to groups and agencies in the Madison County area which promote its philosophy of environmental awareness and education. Emergency response groups are included since their capability to respond to hazardous material incidents is directly correlated to environmental protection and public safety. Donations include: The North Alabama Science Center received a $1,000.00 donation, the Huntsville Fire and Rescue Hazardous Materials Response Unit received $11,200.00 in equipment,the Jaycees Community Building received $675.00 for audio equipment, and the Huntsville Firefighters' Association received $5,000 for the Smokehouse program which is designed to educate youth about life-saving steps to take if they were inside a buring home. Furthermore, some CAER member companies donated other items, such as computer software, to the Fire Department and Emergency Management. CAER's dedication to environmental education and full compliance of environmental regulations in the business and corporate community, is exemplified in the environmental quality we enjoy as residents of Huntsville and Madison County.