Matt Brokaw of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department is a busy fellow.


“Lately, with the flu season coming, we have been full of activity.” Brokaw is the Coordinator of CERT/ MRC for the Health Department. He is a man who wears many hats-and is always looking for community minded people to step forth and lend a helping hand.

That’s how the Waynedale Green Alliance got involved.

WGA became aware of Brokaw’s role when program director, Chris Langschied began to research diverse ways to serve the community and also contribute to greening the area.

“We want to broaden how people think about ‘going green’ by helping them realize that being an active participant in their communities informs how they treasure earth’s resources, and natural habitats.” So, Langschied found CERT through a volunteer site. He also became intrigued by the many ways in which volunteers are educated to become a part of a community team effort in times of distress.

Here are some facts about CERT.

CERT (the acronym for Community Emergency Response Team) are citizens trained by local professionals (fire, law enforcement, emergency medical and emergency management personnel) in the skills most important to the situation. When a disaster happens, the team members first take care of their personal situation, and then meet as a team to organize and provide assistance as they were taught to do by the professionals.

People in Waynedale are many times like family. Most of us have lived here for long periods of time and even if we don’t know someone by name we often know their face. We know that we would like to help out if the time ever came when we would need to step up. And, we would also like to know that there were some trained individuals around who could help us in turn.

As I said in the beginning, Matt Brokaw is a busy fellow. In these times of maximum stress we are all in the same boat and should be standing shoulder to shoulder together -just in case.

Waynedale residents are good at this. Why not think about becoming involved in CERT?

Citizens of Waynedale can get involved by contacting Matt Brokaw at or calling 260-449-3243. You can also find out more by visiting the Office of Homeland Security homepage at

April Brewster Smythe is the founder of the Waynedale Green Alliance and is ready to answer any questions you might have regarding this article or issues concerning greener living. Visit the WGA website at write to her at aprilsmythe@gmail.comor give her a call at 241-5535.

The Waynedale News Staff
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April Brewster Smythe of the Waynedale Green Alliance

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