April 7, 2004
Contact: Carol Connelly, Director,
Media & Communication Services, ext. 5267, email@example.com
PNC First University in State to Complete CERT
WESTVILLE Fourteen Purdue University North Central
faculty and staff members completed Community Emergency Response
Team (CERT) training, making PNC the first Indiana campus
to have a certified CERT team.
The CERT team members will be able to aid the PNC police and
other rescue workers should a disaster or emergency strike
the campus and can assist with basic first aid, light search
and rescue, small fire suppression and disaster scene organization.
While they will not be used in place of the police, they will
be able to provide critical support to emergency personnel
and give immediate assistance to victims before help arrives.
I am pleased that the campus community responded to
my call to participate, said PNC Chief of Police Robert
Gaekle, who completed the PNC CERT training. It is important
for us to have additional trained personnel on campus who
can provide much-needed assistance should an emergency strike.
The three-day training session, led by a four-member team
of professionals from the Michigan City Emergency Management
Agency, culminated in a disaster preparedness drill on campus
that put their class training to the test.
The drill simulated the scenario of a tornado hitting Westville,
a fire striking a business, and blocked or collapsed roads
and bridges near PNC. For the drill, CERT members were told
casualties may have occurred at a church in Otis. Complicating
things was the fact that the team discovered people
on campus participating in a clean-up project. Team members
were asked to respond to this emergency, remembering their
focus is to do the greatest amount of good for the greatest
amount of people.
The PNC CERT volunteers took their assignment seriously. All
agreed they were drawn to the training by a desire to help
those around them in the time of emergency.
Dr. George T. Asteriadis, assistant vice chancellor for academic
affairs, explained, As a member of the PNC community
for 32 years and part of the academic growth at this campus,
this was an excellent opportunity to potentially help PNC
in a nonacademic way and possibly save the lives of my
friends, colleagues, and students if a diaster were to
hit PNC. The CERT team will probably be incorporated
into the overall emergency response plan for the campus under
the direction of the chief of police, who is part of the CERT
Nancy Nickels, Department of Nursing secretary, fulfilled
a long-held desire to help others. I have an interest
in health care, specifically the emergency and trauma side
of things. I jumped at the opportunity to learn a wealth of
information that was so easily accessible at our campus! The
course was organized, exciting and so informative that if
I remember a third of what was presented I can function in
a disaster and do the greatest amount of good for the
greatest number of people. This benefits our community,
campus and our neighbors.
Personal experiences moved others to volunteer. Brenda David,
Information Services operations specialist said, I saw
the aftermath and the confusion caused when a tornado hit
the county where I was raised and my family still lives. Two
years ago a tornado went through Union Mills, where I now
live. Again, I saw the destruction and confusion. I want to
be part of the help, and not be a contributor to the confusion.
Tim West, Media Services technician added, I joined
CERT for my children. I want to be able to help them in any
way possible. Second, if Im on the job, I can take charge
and help. Those completing this training found out that they
didnt know as much about emergency aid as thought they
John Jones, director of the Michigan City Emergency Management
Agency, complimented the PNC team, The PNC CERT training
went extremely well because of the high level of participation
and attention to detail from the students. Having a class
of professional educators is enough to make any CERT instructor
a bit nervous, but the PNC team was interested in one thing
- getting it right!
I was pleased to hear the ideas that emerged as the
team talked about planning strategies, securing additional
supplies for the campus and preplanning for hazards on campus.
I believe in the CERT program and am confident that the PNC
Campus is a safer place now then it had been, thanks to its
Patricia A. Carlisle, special assistant to the chancellor,
summed up the sentiments of many class members stating, I
found the training to be an excellent match to my needs, and
is an excellent beginning of what will be needed to make this
team an effective supplement to the PNC police in an emergency.
The training provided me a basis for evaluating my own home
and being prepared to take care of myself and to help my neighbors.
I am pleased to be part of this team . . . but I hope I never
to have to use these skills . . .
Others completing the PNC training are: Dr. Linda Duttlinger,
Developmental Studies chair; Barbara Miller, Information Services
lab technician; Bridget Cadwell, Print and Mail Services supervisor;
Kristi Thomas, Learning Center secretary; Linda Rizer, Dean
of Students Office secretary; Rick Bohan, physics lab technician;
Stanley Roller, assistant professor of computer technology;
Susan MacLeod, public services library assistant and community
members Dennis and Pat Boy, Katie Answorth and Todd Miller.