Campus Community Emergency Response Team member Bill Nelligan records the names of personnel accessing the Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown following the deadly explosion Feb. 7. The C-CERT group volunteered almost 100 hours of time.
On Feb. 7, the nearly-completed Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown exploded during a natural-gas purging procedure. It was a tragedy for the community that shook the earth in Middletown and beyond. The explosion caused the death of six people and injured more than 12 others.
Soon after the explosion was felt, Wesleyan’s administration offered to support rescue efforts in any way possible. Middletown officials quickly requested that Wesleyan activate its Campus Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) and have them assist at the explosion site.
Over the next few hours, C-CERT team members Cliff Ashton, director of Physical Plant; Stacy Baldwin, construction project coordinator; Bill Nelligan, director of environmental health, safety and sustainability; Ricky Howard, project manager in Physical Plant; and Don Albert, facilities manager, arrived at the site to provide support.
“The day of the explosion
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Holly Jacobs from the Manchester Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) left, teaches Joyce Topshe, associate vice president for facilities, at right, how to properly give a “head-to-toe assessment” on an accident victim. Stacy Baldwin, construction project coordinator, plays the role of an injured person.
An injured woman lays limp on the floor of Woodhead Lounge. She’s conscious, but immobile.
“Can you squeeze my fingers?” asks Barb Spalding, associate director of campus fire safety. “Oh, yes, you still have good strength. It appears all your pain is on the left side.”
Spalding, who was giving a “head-to-toe assessment” on acting accident victim Christine Cruz, safety coordinator, was training for Wesleyan’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.
In the event of a real disaster, crisis or common emergency, Spalding will be prepared to assist first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. Campus CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the Wesleyan community.
Thirteen Wesleyan staff members and four participants from Western Connecticut University and Eastern Connecticut University completed the three-day CERT Training Aug. 18-20. Four CERT
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