When we think of first responders, we think of the fire and police departments, but “first responders” are, as the name implies, those who are closest and first on the scene.

A university campus is often thought of as a “city within a city” and, as with other cities, there is an expectation that campuses will have the resources and staffing to assist and care for everyone; however, as in all aspects of life, we need to take personal responsibility for our own safety.

This past semester The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program was offered to all Chapman University faculty and staff. CERT students went through an intense course learning disaster preparedness, fire safety, medical operations, search & rescue, disaster psychology, terrorism (and CERT) and Cert organization.

“This class taught me that helping others isn’t just a selfless act but it’s real, important, and essential,” said Chapman Administrative Assistant Erin Berthon (pictured above).

Take a look at what they went through over the three-month course.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. Using their training, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event” but, more importantly, makes them better prepared and self-sufficient following a disaster that may overwhelm resources.