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.

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