CERT Is Worth the Work

Here’s how you can recruit potential participants to join your campus Citizens Emergency Response Team.

CERT Is Worth the Work

Photo: Galena Park ISD

There continues to be a lot of discussion about the benefits and headaches of developing and maintaining a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) on campus. Information on how to develop such a team can be found on Citizen’s Corps Web site or through local Emergency Management Agencies (EMA).

An initial hurdle is simply finding the right people on campus willing to dedicate 20 hours for the initial training followed by a drill to confirm what they’ve learned in the training.  There are many ways to solicit people for the training class:

  • Residence Life student and professional staff
  • Student Affairs
  • Facility Managers
  • Human Resources Training Department
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Police and Security
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Campus Media
  • Student Organizations
  • Current CERT Members

Informing potential participants of the many benefits of going through the training, and then being an active part of the team is an important part of the marketing approach to getting the program off the ground, and for future recruitment efforts. Social media, fliers, soliciting at meetings, and  formalizing the program through departmental training are all ways to do this.

But, don’t forget to use humor to help get their attention. David Letterman’s Top 10 List might be another way! Give it a try.


Top 10 Reasons to Have a Campus CERT:

10.          Great way to pass awareness information.

9.            Excellent volunteer resource!

8.            Two Words – Green Helmets!

7.            Tons of people on campus trained to put out small fires.

6.            Possible way to tap into student government funding.

5.            Sustainment Training = Exciting out of office time!

4.            Extra eyes and ears on campus.

3.            Wonderful wintergreen taste (opps, wrong CERT)

2.            Great way to integrate and collaborate with campus   stakeholders.

And, the #1 reason to have a Campus CERT:

1.            CERT provides trained volunteers who are readily available during a critical incident

Andrew Altizer is the director of emergency preparedness for Georgia Tech’s police department.

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