Tag Archives: Community Emergency Response Team

CERT program certifies disaster responders

Georgia Regents Medical Center on-call chaplain Linda Hamilton knows exactly what to do should disaster strike in the hospital, at Georgia Regents University, in Richmond County or at her home.

She’ll use the knowledge and skills she learned through GRU-GRHealth’s inaugural Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program to respond and assist as needed. Hamilton was one of 11 that completed the program and received certification this week.

“I now have more tools to work with in helping people,” said Hamilton, an Army veteran. “In a catastrophe, chaplains are still needed because we consider the wholeness of the person (not just their physical well being).”

Offered by the office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response in partnership with Richmond County Emergency Management, the training included disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue operations, disaster psychology and team organization, and disaster simulation.

The CERT program was offered free of charge to students, faculty, staff and volunteers.

Alex Cordray said the training was “a little out of what I normally do – I’m a computer nerd – but it’s all about teamwork. Teamwork is absolutely important because no one can do it alone.”

GRMC Emergency Management Supervisor Kevin Wells said the CERT program will be offered again in the fall.

Facilities Services Vice President Phil Howard was on hand Monday to present each person who participated in the program a certificate of completion.

“I know the community will benefit from it, and hopefully you benefited from it,” he said.

Email Wells at kewells@gru.edu or call 729-2069 to sign up for the fall class.

Training opportunity for volunteers needed to help during a crisis

Each year, hundreds of communities across the country find themselves in crisis mode awaiting the response of fire departments, EMS, and police. Unfortunately, during these crisis events, public safety is overtasked. Compounded with downed trees and other obstructions, the response can be delayed for several hours or, in worse case scenarios, several days.

Identifying a need for early response in these types of events, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was born. As an extension of the Citizens Corp and operated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), CERT programs have had tremendous success and contributed to hundreds of lives saved since its inception in 2003. Today, there are over 2,200 CERT programs in the United States, including two in the CSRA. CERT members undergo a formalized training, which teaches several emergency response topics such as Search & Rescue, Light Fire Suppression, and Disaster First Aid and Medical Triage.

In partnership with Richmond County Emergency Management, the Office of Critical Events Preparedness & Response (CEPaR) will be hosting the first CERT training program here at GRU and GRHealth. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will be given an Emergency Response Kit and will be prepared to assist their family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers in those crucial minutes and hours just after disaster strikes. As a member of GRU CERT, you will be prepared to respond and assist throughout GRU and GRHealth.

The first course will begin on May 7, 2015, and will meet each Thursday thereafter from 6 to 9 p.m. through June 18, 2015, followed by an exercise to practice all that was learned. This course is being offered FREE OF CHARGE to all GRU/GRHealth students, faculty, and staff. We will need between 25 and 30 folks to make this class work. If you are interested in attending this inaugural class, click here.  Once you are certain you can attend, simply send an email to CEPAR@gru.edu. A formal registration link will be sent out the first week of April for official registration.

Are you interested in becoming an Emergency Response Volunteer but don’t have time for the CERT classes? Consider becoming an Amateur Radio Operator. These volunteers are crucial during any disaster. Within our own emergency plans at GRU, we utilize these volunteers to facilitate communications with local and state partners. For more information, click here.