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Germanna Comm. College graduates first CERT class

July 16, 2013 | VACP

News Image When Germanna Community College graduated its first Campus Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) certification training class this summer, it took a step toward keeping students, faculty and staff safe in the critical moments between an emergency and the arrival of first responders.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management Virginia Citizen Corps CERT class teaches emergency first aid, basic rescue techniques, how to assess a building to determine if it’s safe to enter and disaster psychology. The training was made possible as a result of funding provided by the VDEM 2012 Campus CERT Initiative.

Supervisor Richard L. Williams, Germanna C-CERT Program Manager, said that in the last of three class sessions alone, members assessed buildings, learned how to use a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire, how to lift a wall and pull a person out without further injury and how to put a splint on an injured leg and help an injured person out of a building safely.

The first graduating Germanna C-CERT class consisted of 10 faculty and staff members:

Jennifer St. John, Ronald Williams, Lynn Brown, Michelle Norton, Pat Yuliano, Dawn Faulconer, Cameron Austin Rodish, James E. Haynes, Jodi Simprini and Jillian Noel.

“We greatly value the Campus Community Emergency Response Training process and outcomes,” said Richard L. Brehm, Germanna Vice President for Administrative Services.  “Our campus is not immune from the disasters and emergencies that impact our country and local communities.  Responding to these situations can be unique for commuter campuses.  The more we prepare ourselves for these incidents, the better we are able to respond when one occurs.  Our experience with the August 2011 earthquake impressed upon us the need for this type of training.”

When the 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck Germanna it did enough damage to close the college’s largest academic building for over a year, but students, faculty and staff were evacuated calmly and safely.

Germanna’s C-CERT training is coordinated by the College Police Department. The C-CERT training helps assure a positive outcome when the next emergency strikes.