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2018 News ERTC Training
June 04, 2018 : Campus members participate in county’s first annual CERT training


Members of the Ohio University Chillicothe Campus community attended a two-day Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) workshop on May 19-20, 2018 at the local Ross County Emergency Management Agency. The Chillicothe campus partnered with the Ross County Emergency Management Agency and Ohio Christian University to create a CERT that trains people to help in case of an emergency which could range from a minor injury to a major disaster.


The training consisted of two days of classroom instruction and hands-on exercises that lasted about eight-hours each day. Terry Barr with the Jackson County Emergency Management Association instructed the workshop and engaged participants with simulations of disasters and evacuation exercises by CERT members-in-training.


Dr. Greg Obi, Assistant Professor of Business Management Technology, shared, “The training was a reaffirmation of the realities of our time and how we need to support each other as a community of good people. For example, some of the videos showed how easy it is for a house to be engulfed in fire.”


Four faculty, three staff, and one adjunct from the Chillicothe campus attended. Those who participated became a member of the campus’s CERT and received training in weather awareness, first aid, and emergency partnerships. In addition, they also received a CERT manual and backpack with response-oriented resources.


The effort is part of the campus’s business continuity planning and is designed to promote a safer and supportive campus. The workshop was the first time Ross County has offered a CERT workshop.


CERT members are volunteers who have been trained for help in case of various community emergencies, which could include cases of light rescue in situations of natural and man-caused disasters as well as searching for missing people.


“It was very informative in explaining how CERT members can prepare their own immediate families on how to deal with emergencies,” remarked Obi. “For instance, I learned about the various utility (i.e. water, gas, etc.) safety valves in our homes and how to turn them off in cases of emergency.”


Obi, continued, “Some aspects of the training was also very touching, especially the sections on disaster psychology which focused on how to deal with personal trauma/grief and also those of victims. In fact, there were cases of real tears and crying in the classroom as some of the trainees have dealt with such personal losses in the past.”


CERT members are not first responders since they are not trained as Emergency Medical Technicians, Emergency Medical Services personnel, or firefighters, though they may choose to pursue further trainings to become such. They are under the direction of the county EMA director (or his/her designated officer) to serve/help as the director sees fit in cases of emergencies.
This particular training was orchestrated by Paul Minney, Director of Ross County Emergency Management Association, with the support of the out-going Associate Dean, Dr. Brenda Phillips. In preparation for the workshop, the Chillicothe campus donated the gears that the qualified CERT members received at the end of their training.