Thank you for your interest in the Wayne State University Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)! We hope this information answers your questions regarding the program, how it benefits your community and what is involved in becoming a CERT volunteer. This is a fantastic program that will give you the chance to give back to your community and play a vital role during a disaster or large event here at the university.
What is CERT?
The CERT program educates citizens about disaster preparedness for hazards that could impact our area and trains them in basic disaster response skills. These skills include fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, scene organization, evacuation plans, and disaster medical operations. Using this training, CERT members can assist others at the university following incidents when professional responders are not immediately available to help or when directed to do so by a Department of Public Safety member.
CERT is one of five organizations that operate under the Citizens Corps, the nationwide grassroots movement that encourages all Americans to help make their communities, safer, stronger and better prepared for all types of hazards and threats through active volunteerism.
Why should I take CERT training?
Wayne State University's professional responders are well trained and prepared to handle all types of emergencies. However, large-scale emergencies or disasters could easily overwhelm our response capabilities, and we may require CERT's help in order to more effectively do our jobs. The primary reason for CERT training is to give people the decision-making, organizational and practical skills to help them provide immediate and effective assistance to the university community until professional responders can arrive. While many will respond to those in need without proper training, the goal of CERT is to train and organize our volunteers thoroughly so they can effectively and efficiently assist without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.
How will CERT benefit Wayne State University?
CERT-trained citizens have a better understanding of potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps to lessen the vulnerability of these hazards. If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capabilities, CERT members can apply their training to give critical support to students or associates in the immediate area until help arrives. When help arrives, CERT members provide useful information to responders and support their efforts, as directed, at the disaster site.
For example, one CERT success story comes from events during wildfires in Florida. The Edgewater CERT helped emergency management and fire department personnel by assisting with evacuation, handling donations, preparing food for firefighters and answering phones while the professionals fought the fires. Closer to home, the Dearborn Police Department has used its CERT to help at large protests at City Hall. The team members worked with police/fire/medical personnel to help direct traffic, give information to citizens and assist police when directed to do so by the proper authorities. These are great examples of CERT members and response personnel working together for the benefit of the community.
CERT members also assist with nonemergency projects that benefit the community. CERTs have distributed and/or installed smoke alarms, replaced smoke alarm batteries for the elderly, distributed disaster education material, and provided services at special events such as festivals, parades, sporting events and more.
What kind of training is required to be a CERT volunteer?
To become a Wayne State University CERT member, you must complete the core CERT training program, which is hosted by the Wayne State University Police Department. All sessions are held in the Wayne State Police Department's training room and taught by professional emergency responders. During these sessions, you will learn basic emergency response techniques, including emergency medical first aid, fire safety, search and rescue techniques, response to floods, education regarding your building(s) (evacuation plans, location of emergency equipment in the building, etc.), and more. These training sessions are fun and concentrate on team building.
Who can take CERT training?
Wayne State University faculty and staff members.
I have physical limitations. Can I still participate as a CERT volunteer?
Absolutely! There are many jobs within a CERT for citizens who want to be involved and help. Following a disaster, CERT members are needed for documentation, comforting others, logistics, etc. Non-disaster related team activities might include helping with special events and other responsibilities.
During CERT classroom training, you have a concern about doing a skill, just let your instructor know. You can learn from watching. We would like everyone who goes through this training to be an active participant — whether through hands-on involvement or through observing the techniques.
I'm interested. What do I do next?
Complete the Application for Volunteer Participation form below. Please complete this form in its entirety.