Georgetown Hosts Emergency Response Exercise
July 26, 2011 – Members of Washington, D.C.’s campus and emergency management communities worked together during a simulated tornado disaster at Georgetown on July 23.
The Campus Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) functional exercise tested participants’ skills in tasks such as fire suppression, medical treatment, field triage and search and rescue.
“The exercise was one of the first of its nature in the metropolitan area, and as a result, our efforts have been nationally recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” said Whit Chaiyabhat, director of the university’s Department of Emergency Management and Office of Continuity (DEMOC).
DEMOC established the C-CERT program thanks in part to a 2009 U.S. Department of Education Emergency management in Higher Education Grant award.
The exercise brought together DEMOC, the university’s department of public safety and Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS) with the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Service and other D.C. agencies.
“This exercise represented the logical progression of [our department’s] efforts to stress the importance of personal preparedness, accountability and organizational resilience,” said Chaiyabhat. “The exercise also represented the culmination of over a year of hard work to implement the C-CERT program at Georgetown University.”
Georgetown’s C-CERT program educates community members about disaster preparedness for hazards and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety and disaster medical operations.
“Our partnerships with the Consortium and D.C. [agencies such as] Serve DC and the Mayor's Office on Volunteerism … reflect our desire to promote service to the community while ensuring that the emergency response framework at Georgetown University is as interconnected as possible,” Chaiyabhat said.