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 Tuesday, March 8, 2005 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Community Emergency Response Teams Help Ensure Campus Safety
By Linda Besen, Publications and Creative Services

Interspersed among faculty and staff are colleagues trained to ensure our safety while we work. Each Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) comprises volunteers who take a 10-week course that includes disaster preparedness, terrorism understanding, CPR and automated external defibrillator training, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue operations, disaster psychology and fire safety. The course culminates with a disaster simulation in which participants apply the knowledge and training they've received.

CU-Boulder graduated its first two classes of CERT volunteers in 2004. They are located in Regent Hall and the Environmental Health and Safety Center. Graduates also represent facilities management, housing, Norlin Library and the Administrative and Research Center, East campus.

"The goal of CERTs is to help create a culture of safety in each building on campus," says Sylvia Dane, emergency planning coordinator. "It is important to have people who understand their work areas and what responders, like firefighters and police, need to know when they respond to a call." For example, CERTs may be able to tell responders where their risks are in a building (e.g., one of more than 1,200 campus laboratories), whether someone is trapped inside and the safest way to enter the building. CERTs can also provide trained support on the scene.

The CERT program provides volunteers with expertise they can take back to their work place and home. Team members are available for guidance anytime there are questions about safety in their buildings.

The next training session will begin in April. This session will only accept volunteers from facilities management, housing, Norlin Library and the ARCE, but Dane hopes to have future funding available for other departments. If you are interested in participating, whether you are from the departments listed or not, contact Sylvia Dane, Emergency Planning Coordinator at 303-492-5162 or

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