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Teen CERT equips Bruins for emergencies

Junior Leo Jackson has fun learning about the newly reintroduced Teen Cert program. Photo by Zach Fink.

Widespread across the country, Teen CERT prepares high school students for emergency situations by offering a hands-on experience to learn the proper procedures to carry out in case of such event.

Reintroducing this program to Bear River High School, Principal Christopher Roberts explained what students should expect from this two-day course.

“The Teen CERT program, which stands for Community Emergency Response Team, is a national training program designed for teens who would like to volunteer to help out during a local disaster,” he said. “This is nothing new to Bear River. Several years ago, students from both NU and Bear River were trained and certified.”

Josie Booth, a sophomore, described why she believes participating in this program is beneficial.

“I do plan on participating in this program because it’s important to know how to react in certain situations,” she said. “It’s important for students to learn the proper procedures to carry out during an emergency situation because it reduces the stress for teachers and staff. Also, other students might listen better to their peers in case of an emergency.”

Principal Roberts listed a few of the occurrences in which students would know how to help.

“[Students would learn how to] extinguish small fires before they get out of control, set up a medical treatment zone after a disaster, conduct search and rescue missions, assist people injured in an emergency, assist responders, identify potential hazards, reduce the incidence and risk of fire in buildings, and help calm people so they can cope with disasters,” he said.

Junior Katelyn Lorenzo explained her thoughts of why students are being given this opportunity.

“[So] they can help and have the knowledge on what to do [in a disaster],” she said. “Staying calm and help in any way you can!”

Sophomore Weston Prosser further clarified the purpose of the program.

“There can be many different senses of disasters where you can have something at home that can be considered a disaster, but it can also be something at school that happens,” he said. “Our goal and objective … [is in the event of] an emergency situation, they’d know what to do. So, it’s not like a panic and results in potentially bad endings or outcomes.”

Principal Roberts commented about why he decided to reintroduce this program to Bear River.

“Safety is my number one priority on this campus as the school’s principal,” he said. “I’m an Eagle Scout. The motto of a scout is Be Prepared. The reason this is so important is so that if an emergency does occur we are ready … Having students more prepared in an emergency will not only help those students but all students across the campus. With the most recent fire in Paradise, being prepared in the event of an emergency is crucial.”

Prosser described what he expects out of this program.

“Oftentimes, what I’ve witnessed and seen through movies, you’ll see disasters and situations happen and a lot of the time the outcomes are someone ends up dying because of a miss response to the emergency situation,” he said. “We want to develop it so that if an emergency situation happens in the real world, it’s not going to end unfortunately. That people know what to do, understand the consequences, and they understand what they need to do in emergency situations.”

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Teen CERT equips Bruins for emergencies