Thank you for your interest in the Wayne State University Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program! We hope this information helps answer your questions regarding the new Wayne State University CERT program, how it will benefit your community, and what is involved in becoming a CERT volunteer. This is a fantastic program which 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 Community Emergency Response Team (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 grass roots 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 the University’s Community Emergency Response Team’s help in order to more effectively do their 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 the professional responders can arrive. While many people will respond to those in need without the proper training, the goal of the CERT program is to train and organize our volunteers thoroughly. With this knowledge, they can assist effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.
How will the CERT program 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 does arrive, CERTs 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 the fire department personnel by assisting with evacuation, handling donations, preparing food for firefighters, and answering phones while the professionals were fighting the fires. Closer to home, the Dearborn Police Department has used their CERT to help at large protests at City Hall within the last year. The team members worked with police/fire/medical personnel to help direct traffic, give information to citizens, and to help the 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 non-emergency projects that benefit 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 need to complete the "core" CERT training program which will be hosted by the Wayne State University Police Department. All sessions will be held in the Wayne State Police Department’s training room, and will be 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 much more. These training sessions will be 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, if one has a concern about doing a skill like lifting, 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 it is "hands on" involvement, or learning the techniques by careful observation.
I'm interested. What do I do next?
Complete the Application for Volunteer Participation form below. Please complete this form in its entirety.