What an incredible training

Hi! I’m Jill Stevens, Miss Utah 2007, I recently attended Eastern Michigan University’s TEEN CERT Train the Trainer in Provo, Utah. What an incredible training! The last 3 days have been wonderful. This train the trainer fits right in with my platform, “Emergency Preparedness”. This train the trainer focuses on Teen Community Emergency Response Teams (TEEN CERT) and how to get this youth program started in High Schools. This program is empowering for youth and is so needed in our education system. I have learned so much. Its great how we can help each other out, as I am now going to help “spear-head” TEEN CERT nation wide! I am so excited. I truly believe in what this program can do in teaching our youth life saving skills for emergency situations, that can and may very well happen in our society.

For the past 6 years, Jill Stevens has been serving in the US Military as a Combat Medic in the Utah National Guard, while earning her degree in Nursing at Southern Utah University. In November 2003, Jill was deployed to Afghanistan, returning home in April 2005. She has earned 5 medals for her outstanding service, and was the first female finisher of the inaugural Afghanistan Marathon, making a total of 12 marathons she has completed together with earning the highest Fitness award during Army Basic Training. In representing the Army National Guard, Sergeant Stevens recently addressed Generals from 40 different nations gathered at Hill Air Force Base. Jill will be competing for Miss America in January 2008!

Teen Community Emergency Response Team PDF Print

ImageThe Center for Regional and National Security (CeRNS) at Eastern Michigan University initiated a grant funded pilot project from Michigan Citizen Corp to develop, validate and initiate an education program targeting high school students teaching Disaster Preparedness and Response. The Teen Community Emergency Response Team (Teen CERT) Program educates students about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, Teen CERT members can assist others in their schools, neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. Teen CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

Prince George’s County

Prince George’s County – In an effort that organizers say will help youth protect themselves and their communities, area educators, firefighters, police officers and other adults are learning how to teach teens emergency response skills this weekend.

More than 70 people from around the region are participating in the “train-the-trainer” Teen Community Emergency Response Team workshop, which began Friday in Prince George’s County and was scheduled to end Sunday.

Participants learn to teach teens how to set up medical treatment areas, extinguish small fires, help reduce survivor stress, and identify and anticipate hazards, according to the Teen CERT brochure.

Gerald “Skip” Lawver, an associate professor at Eastern Michigan University, devised the Teen CERT program in 2005, to educate teenagers about disasters, first aid, search and rescue, incident command, terrorism, disaster psychology and fire suppression.

“Our proximity to the nation’s capital means we are part of the No. 1 target for a terrorist attack, so that means homeland security has to be very important to us,” Rep. Albert Wynn told The Examiner after addressing workshop participants Friday.

“Training young people to appreciate their role in homeland security is critical.”

Lawver said he hopes students who participate in Teen CERT are “integrated into schools’ disaster response plan.”

“We are changing the culture of emergency management and disaster preparedness,” he said.

Calvin Hawkins, chief of community affairs and education for Prince George’s Office of Homeland Security/Emergency Management, helped organize the program.

He said 22 county teens completed a Teen CERT workshop over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, and another teen training session is scheduled for March.

Teen CERT Train-the-Trainer Course—It’s Official

The Teen CERT Train-the-Trainer course, developed by Eastern Michigan University (EMU) under a Competitive Training Grant from the DHS Office of Grants and Training, has been approved as an official course for national promotion. The course prepares Participants to present the national CERT Training Program to teens. DHS approval opens up opportunities for States and local CERT Programs, as well as schools, to access the Train-the-Trainer course and use DHS funding to support it.

“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 Teen CERT training also prepares
students for a role in their school’s Disaster Response Plan as additional trained resources in the event of a disaster.

The Teen CERT Train-the-Trainer Course covers instructional techniques for delivering the training to teens and steps to establish successful CERT training for high school or youth groups, including working with students, parents, and school administrators. Train-the-Trainer participants are also given ideas and direction to maintain and sustain local Teen CERT—such as partnering with local emergency management, and securing ongoing financial and political support. The design of the recently approved course fits the National CERT Program effort to develop trainer instruction for delivery of the standard CERT curriculum to a range of targeted groups, such as teens, college campuses, businesses, and people with disabilities. The Campus CERT Train the-
Trainer Course is already under development.

Beginning in June 2006, EMU conducted a series of pilots of the Teen CERT Train the-Trainer Course in Jackson, MS; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Bowie, MD; and Ypsilanti, MI, training over 200 participants in Teen CERT delivery. Gary Zulinski, project coordinator for the Teen CERT grant at EMU, reports that 25 high schools have Teen CERT training underway, with additional high schools getting started, as a result of the pilot program. EMU presented recently at a Camp Fire USA conference and will conduct the Teen CERT Train-the-Trainer Course to Camp Fire Council leaders in Lake Charles, LA. The course is also being scheduled for San Francisco and communities in Arizona, Florida, Missouri, New York, and North Dakota. Anyone interested in the Teen CERT Train-the-Trainer Course

Milan High School (Michigan) Teen CERT members participating in a simulate bus accident

The core Teen CERT program has three main goals. First, it will seek to provide students with a knowledge base on the effects of natural and man-made disasters and their emotional, social, and economic impacts. Secondly, it will aim to build decision-making and problem solving skills and strategies to help students make informed decisions regarding readiness, response & recovery and mitigation efforts to reduce loss of life and property. Lastly, an integral part of the Teen CERT program will be to provide students with hands-on training using reality-driven drills and exercises.

Training in disaster response should not be a one-time event. Awareness, commitment, and skills must be reinforced through follow-up training and repeated practice to maintain the edge necessary for effective response in the face of a disaster. Tomaintain your skill level and continually improve performance, you and your classmates should participate in continuing supplemental training when offered in your area. Working through practice disaster scenarios with other citizens will provide opportunities not only for extended practice, but for valuable networking with citizens in the local area.

Teen CERT
Eastern Michigan University students Nora Gomez (left), Eboni Jenkins (right rear) and Tony Martin (right front), practice CPR on a dummy while getting instructions from CERT Trainer Nicole Miller (center).
The curriculum is not meant to replace those of previously established initiatives, rather it incorporates them in their entirety and focus on increasing knowledge and skill development in seven areas as they relate to disasters: 1) cognitive information, 2) recognizing hazards, 3) planning skills, 4) consequential thinking and risk taking, 5) team-building and communication skills, 6) decision making, 7) individual responsibilities within the community. Some of these lessons will focus on raising awareness in skill areas, while others emphasize their practical application.

Teen Community Emergency Response Team

The Center for Regional and National Security (CeRNS) at Eastern Michigan University initiated a grant funded pilot project from Michigan Citizen Corp to develop, validate and initiate an education program targeting high school students teaching Disaster Preparedness and Response. The Teen Community Emergency Response Team (Teen CERT) Program educates students about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, Teen CERT members can assist others in their schools, neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. Teen CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

Training in disaster response should not be a one-time event. Awareness, commitment, and skills must be reinforced through follow-up training and repeated practice to maintain the edge necessary for effective response in the face of a disaster. Tomaintain your skill level and continually improve performance, you and your classmates should participate in continuing supplemental training when offered in your area. Working through practice disaster scenarios with other citizens will provide opportunities not only for extended practice, but for valuable networking with citizens in the local area.