Formed in early 1991 as West Cuyahoga Hazardous Materials Response Team (WCHMRT), its purpose was to meet and embrace the demands of Hazardous Material Incidents of nineteen communities of Southwest Cuyahoga County. The participating communities provided the manpower and a mutual investment of $5,000, which was used to purchase a vehicle.
In 2000, an all-inclusive technical rescue and hazardous materials teams were formed and the Southwest Council of Governments changed the name to Southwest Emergency Response Team (SERT) this reflected the increase in resources offered to the 19 participating communities. Services offered included Technical Rescue (Rope Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Trench Rescue, Structural Collapse/USAR Region 2 Strike Team, Lost Persons Search and Rescue, Dive Rescue, Ice Rescue, Swift Water Rescue). HazMat, Fire Investigation and Tactical EMS.
Our membership is currently over 80 strong the majority of whom are cross-trained in land and water based disciplines or are specially trained in hazardous materials, fire investigation and tactical EMS providing our communities with the most efficient and effective rescuer.
The manpower provided by the 19 SERT communities allows each city to have the ability to provide trained personnel on the front lines. As “First Responders” these highly skilled and trained rescuers can evaluate the emergency situation and determine whether the host city can affect the rescue or if a team callout is necessary.
Each of the communities share the expense by contributing resources such as manpower and equipment.
The team covers an area of 182 square miles and serves a population of approximately 343,000 providing service to the NASA Lewis Research Facility in addition to its 19 communities.
Serving 19 cities including NASA’s Lewis Facility, Berea, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Brook Park, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Brunswick, Cuyahoga Heights, Independence, Middleburg Heights, Newburgh Heights, North Royalton, Olmsted Falls, Olmsted Township, Parma, Parma Heights, Seven Hills, Strongsville, and Valley View.
Team Notification is done though Strongsville FD Dispatch Center.