Wikimedia Commons
Wiki­media Commons

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 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.”