On Jan. 6, Wesleyan’s Campus Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) trainees participated in a team-building exercise.
While working in groups of three and four, the teams each had five minutes to plan how they’d construct a 5-foot-tall, free standing tower using only paper, two sheets of cardboard, tape and scissors.
After developing a plan, the groups had five minutes to build their structure.
Formed in September 2009, Wesleyan’s C-CERT members are trained to assist first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize volunteers at a disaster site. The team currently has about 30 members and is in the process of training another 11.
The exercise was led by C-CERT members Bill Nelligan, director of environmental services; Linda Hurteau, Science Library assistant and Sherri Condon, accounting specialist.
The team-building exercise was part of C-CERT’s 20-hour program, which is supported by a grant from the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Training includes sessions such as Disaster Preparedness, Fire Safety and Utility Controls, Disaster Medical Operations, Light Search and Rescue Operations, CERT Organization, Disaster Psychology, Terrorism and Disaster Simulation. All participants receive their own personal protective equipment (PPE) and must pass a final exam to be certified.
While none of the groups were able to build a five-foot tall free standing structure, the winning group’s tower was 54.5 inches high (4.5 feet).
Eleven Wesleyan trainees and two community members were worn into CERT on Jan. 8.
The 2016 Wesleyan C-CERT trainees include Eugenia Conte, Megan Flagg, Steven Formica, John Hossain, Malinda Johnston, Eileen McNamara, Jeff Murphy, Emily Pagano, Zach Pfeifer, Rachel Prehodka-Spindel and Alexia Thompson.
Wesleyan currently has about 40 members. Anyone interested in attending the next C-CERT training should email C-CERT training coordinator Joyce Walter at email@example.com.