Hamilton County commissioners present Rampart Award to recently retired CERT coordinator


By Chris Bavender

Carmel resident Jon Baldwin received a Rampart Award on Jan. 24 at the Hamilton County Commissioners meeting. The award is presented to those who have given generously of their time to make Hamilton County a better place for everyone. Recipients also display an attitude of teamwork, a generosity of spirit and a desire to tirelessly support and celebrate the people and communities of Hamilton County.

Baldwin received the award for his dedication to the Hamilton County Emergency Response Team, or CERT. He has served as the CERT program coordinator the past nine years, retiring from the position in December 2021. He will continue working with the CERT training division and will become president of the nonprofit.

“I was totally surprised and humbled by the award,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin completed the FEMA CERT basic course in 2008 as a volunteer in the Indiana Guard Reserve. Later that year, he took the CERT Train-the-Trainer course and became certified to teach the basic course.

“In January 2012, I helped the program coordinator teach only the fourth basic course given by that point,” Baldwin said. “Through 2012, I was the deputy program coordinator and vice president of the 501(c)(3) we created, i.e., Hamilton County CERT Services, to fund training for volunteers in the program. Late in 2012, he passed away and I became the program coordinator in early 2013.”

The program has grown significantly through four emergency management executive directors, Baldwin said.

“From one local CERT Team in Noblesville, to over 125 CERT volunteers equipped with public safety radios, other equipment and integrated into several (emergency management) operations each year,” he said. “The county CERT program has taught over 300 volunteers, through 25 basic courses, since November 2010.”

During his time with CERT, Baldwin has led and expanded 19 classes and presented numerous extra training sessions on a variety of topics, each involving emergency response situations. He and his staff also created annual emergency response exercises.

“I’ve come to believe that CERT skills and the program of organized volunteers increases the preparedness and resilience of regular citizens of our county.”