Teen CERT conference at EMU start of national roll-out
YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University was on the leading edge of emergency response training for high school students in Michigan and is now playing a critical role nationwide.
Eastern Michigan University is hosting the DHS Pilot Teen Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) Train-the-trainer conference through June 23 at Marshall Auditorium. The course
prepares participants to present the National Model Teen CERT Training Program at their respective high schools. Participants from all over Michigan are attending, including participants from Indiana, Mississippi and Florida.
Teen CERT is a National Training Initiative that prepares youth to “mitigate, prepare, respond and recover” from a disaster that may happen at their school or home. The program is designed to teach them to help themselves, their families and their school in the event of a disaster.
“In an emergency, 95 percent of the time a bystander or victim is the first to provide emergency assistance or rescue,” said Gary Zulinski, project coordinator for the Teen CERT grant project. “Having students and teachers trained will help save lives in the event of an emergency.”
Teen CERT is designed to change the culture of disaster preparedness and response by empowering youth in disaster mitigation, said Gerald “Skip” Lawver, associate professor for EMU’s School of Technology. The training also prepares students to articulate into the Schools Disaster Response Plan as additional trained resources should a disaster strike.
Lawver help implement the program in Michigan in 2005.
Teen CERT was first piloted in Michigan at Milan High School in 2005 when 16 students and three parents trained in disaster skills such as fire suppression, first aid, CPR and search and rescue techniques. This first Teen CERT team has become part of the school’s disaster response team and has become a valuable asset for the school. An additional 16 students where Teen CERT trained this recent school year and the first team are assisting in a pilot program in the middle school.
Lawver said the program will cover the areas of fire safety and basic fire combating techniques; recognizing injuries and basic first aid, CPR, basic team building and emergency communications systems and its use.
Instructors will receive an instructor first-aid pack, instructor manual, CD Rom with all the forms, pre-post examinations. When instructors start to teach the Teen CERT Model, the high school will receive $200 for expenses, back packs for each student (up to 25) enrolled in the program and student manuals. There is no cost to the school.
“This program is intermediate level training designed for young adults between the ages of 13 and 18,” Lawver said.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.