Formed in 1993 in California, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is now found in all 50 states with over 2,600 chapters. Since that very first class, the CERT program has held strong to the belief that by preparing for a disaster now, we reduce its impact later. In the CSRA, CERT programs can be found in every county and here at Augusta University. Using the same acronym, the Augusta University CERT is a Campus Emergency Response Team.
Last year, in partnership with Richmond County, the first CERT course was hosted at Augusta University. The class was so successful that a second one was formed last fall. Graduates completed eight classes and a disaster exercise. They learned about incident command, fire safety, search and rescue, disaster medicine and psychological First Aid. At the end, they pulled all their new found skills together in a disaster exercise which involved every aspect. Upon graduation, students receive their own Emergency Preparedness Kit.
Since last fall, Augusta University has gained two CERT instructors and program managers. Starting June 7, the third CERT class will kick off. This class will meet twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Summerville Campus. Class participation is open to all faculty, staff, students, and volunteers at no cost. The Campus Emergency Response Team will aide emergency responders during critical events on campus.
In addition to helping the campus with its emergency response, course graduates will also be able to participate in their local CERT groups in their home county.
For more information or to sign up for the next CERT class, email Kevin Wells.