URI’s Community Emergency Response Team looks to faculty, staff, and students to assist in an emergency

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KINGSTON, R.I., – February 13, 2012 – Natalie Hanrion, emergency management program officer at the University of Rhode Island, recently heard about a student who fainted in class. A feeling of shock swept through the room as fellow students turned and looked at each other, silently wondering what to do.

“Everyone waits for someone else to step up to the plate,” she said.

Someone called 911 and the student was fine but when it comes to recovering from disaster, waiting for a leader to emerge isn’t part of the plan. That’s why URI is encouraging faculty, staff, and students to be part of the Community Emergency Response Team. By joining the response team and learning basic emergency skills, members of the URI community will be equipped to help in a crisis.

From Feb. 27 through April 28, free, weekly training sessions will be held to prepare faculty, staff, and students to assist first responders in responding to and recovering from emergencies. The first training session was held last semester and attracted 27 participants, mainly students. Hanrion wants to increase the number of staff and faculty members in this comprehensive program that will teach everything from how to tie a splint and check a person’s airways to securing a home and providing emergency shelter for pets. Most importantly, these volunteers will be learning how to make quick decisions and take charge in an emergency, therefore taking some of the load off the first responders.

Upcoming training sessions include:

• February 27: Disaster Preparedness and Community Emergency Response Team Organization

• March 5: Disaster Medical Operations, Part I

• March 19: Disaster Medical Operations, Part II

• March 26: Search and Rescue

• April 2: Fire Safety

• April 9: Disaster Psychology and Terrorism

• April 16: Make-up day

• April 28: Final Exam and Disaster Exercise

Each training session lasts two-and-a-half hours with the exception of the final exam and disaster exercise. Participants do not have to complete the entire series, but may attend any training session that interests them. Attendance at all sessions is required for certification, but the coursework can be completed during future sessions. For more information about the CERT Program and specific courses, please visit our website: www.uri.edu/uricert If there is enough interest, courses specifically for staff and faculty members will be offered. To reserve a spot, contact Natalie Hanrion at nhanrion@emergency.uri.edu or
401.874-7286. More information on the Community Emergency Response Team can be found at www.uri.edu/uricert.