Hillsdale College’s campus security is looking for students who want to help their campus, should a disaster occur.
The Hillsdale College Emergency Response Team, or HCERT, is training student volunteers to assist security employees, police, fire, and emergency medical service in the instance of a crisis. Training begins Saturday at 9 a.m.
“A lot of times in small communities like this, there’s not enough manpower with the local law enforcement as well as public safety,” said junior Jon Coote, security manager.
Student volunteers will learn how to help with communication, traffic and perimeter control, ground search and rescue, staging and accountability measures, supporting campus events, and basic first aid. Saturday’s training includes classroom work and a full-scale practical scenario.
“It’s pretty wide range,” Emergency Manager Coordinator senior Hank Prim said. “We can’t predict every contingency that could happen.”
The group will hold shorter, refresher training sessions on a monthly basis. But when it comes to emergencies, it is impossible predict when the college will need HCERT.
“We could be activated at any time,” Coote said.
Although a new organization, it stems from the Hillsdale Action Response Team. HART began in 2011, at the request of President Larry Arnn, following a large ice storm. It took on similar functions to HCERT but focused on medical emergencies and lacked momentum in leadership, Whorley said. HCERT now falls under campus security to ensure stability from year to year, Whorley and Prim said.
“Our hope is rebranding it, bringing it back up to speed and serving that support role for security and law enforcement in our town,” Prim said. “Our goal is to keep volunteers trained up and hopefully never have to use them, but we want to be prepared.”
Around 30 students have already signed up for Saturday’s training. Those interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“We always look for ways we can support our campus, especially in times of emergency,” Prim said. “If you want to help, HCERT is for you.”