Salt Lake Community College gave its Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT) some hands-on training with a mass casualty drill last Friday at the Miller Campus.
A building collapse was the theme of the most recent simulation. CERT trainees practiced triage procedures and set up common communication and medical standards.
“The goal is to organize, search and extricate,” says SLCC emergency response manager Scott Jones. “[Because CERT is] associated with the Department of Homeland Security, we practice emergency preparedness training in [an] attempt to prepare for every scenario.”
The training was held in a shoot house, which looks like a common office building. SWAT teams and firefighters also train in shoot houses.
No detail was overlooked to help the handful of casualties look the part.
“We use what is called moulage, it’s the fake blood we put on our victims to make them look injured,” says Jones, who organized and directed the event. “Our victims’ injuries vary from a fractured wrist to possibly someone trapped under a collapsed structure.”
Friday’s simulation was the sixth in the last two years for CERT.
CERT typically practices for natural disasters, but members also train for other catastrophes like school shootings.
“The goal is to provide organization and communication for students and faculty,” says Jones.
Only SLCC faculty and staff are eligible to participate in the school’s CERT program. Those who successfully complete the course receive a CERT bag filled with emergency equipment.
Because of this ongoing training, students can feel safer knowing that SLCC is always preparing to respond to emergencies on campus — and help will be easy to find.
“Look for bright yellow vests and the bright CERT helmets,” says Jones.