Private Sector Preparedness

Workplace CERT

Develop a business CERT curriculum. Most people spend the better part of their waking hours at work. Beyond the nearly non-existant "fire brigades" or "floor monitors" and empty first aid kits little is being done to prepare people in the business environment for disaster. Just as Teen CERT and Campus CERT have their own curriculum I believe that a new curriculum for the business environment is needed.


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  1. Comment

    A new CERT curriculum designed specifically for the workplace is needed! The startling statistics that only 2% of our population are first responders needs to be more broadly shared with the general public, so they realize the need for training and particiation by employees and employers.

  2. Comment
    Mark Kaintz ( Idea Submitter )

    I also think that more work needs to be done with first responders to help them understand that CERT members are not a bunch of wannabe firefighters and EMS personnel. CERT members need to earn their credibility with the first responders. The best way to do this is to train with them whenever possible. Our local CERT team is participating in a regional disaster drill...and not just as moulaged injured! CERT members were instrumental in our county during last year's H1N1 situation. This sort of cooperation and mutual training should extend into the workforce with the advent of a workforce CERT. If first responders arrive on scene of a disaster in the workforce and come across a CERT member, their first words shouldn't be "get out of the way". Similarly, CERT members should be identified in a company's business continuity and disaster recovery plan. Companies need to understand the role of CERT in the workforce and be willing to utilize them in a disaster.

  3. Comment
    Scott Paltall

    Mark - Great points all around. Especially about having first responders train with CERT members!

  4. Comment

    CERT to the rescue! Yes the CERT teams have a place in our disaster preparedness plans. Our CERT teams is New and balancing of becoming larger, with more training in the First Responder areas. Not in the areas of replacing FR, but in learning what these FR do. That info will help the CERT team aid and backup the FR's

  5. Comment
    Mark Chubb

    I inadvertently clicked the "disagree" button when I intended to vote "agree." The software does not appear to have a facility to undo this mistake.

  6. Comment
    Robert Ross

    What I have found is that most FD's don't have the resources to train companies (most companies want training during working hours) and that most companies are not dedicated enough to push for it (they won't pay overtime to their staff to take training after hours, and during work they want no more than one hour at a time - hardly enough time to get the class really started let alone have any "hands on work").

    More effort needs to be made by government to convince companies this is a vital need - maybe even add it as a requirement to have some kind of 'emergency response team' in the workplace as part of their business continuity plans.

  7. Comment
    Richard Hildreth

    The key to being able to create workplace CERT programs is to train individuals from those workplaces as CERT Trainers.

    Besides my role as an Elected and my involvement in emergency management I am an Electrician. Myself and anouther tradesperson created a Construction site specific CERT class (yet to be taught) but the only way it works is if the instructor (or at least some of them) are from related trades and backgrounds.

    I agree this concept is important to overall preparedness. When Disaster strikes there is a 1/3rd chance we are at work. But to make a workplace CERT effective, We need more instructors to step up from the private sector.

  8. Comment
    Mark Kaintz ( Idea Submitter )

    I agree regarding the need for CERT Trainers. Again, I emphasize that corporate CERT teams need a slightly different curriculum than the community version. The biggest hurdle that I have heard so far against CERT teams in the workplace is the irrational fear that Risk Managers have regarding CERT member operations. They fear that they will get cut or some way otherwise injured and bring suit to the company. If they comprehended that CERT teams do not take unnecessary risks, work in teams of 2 or more, and should not work outside the scope of their CERT training, then there should be no problem.

  9. Comment
    Holly Marback

    Mark, I agree. In a crisis, it takes everyone who is able to do their part. The better we understand what our part is, and how we (CERT and professional first responders) can work together during an emergency. CERT members should be included in any municipal entity's emergency planning.

    I'd also love to see a CERT curriculum for the workplace. I am the only CERT member at mine.

  10. Comment
    Brad McInnes

    I am working on this at our company. One issue that may need to be addressed is: do the liability laws that protect "volunteers" apply to employees if they participate in a "work CERT team"? I would like to see the laws explicitly protect workplace CERT members....

  11. Comment
    Two Cents

    Is there a CERT intro class that an employer can ask employees to go through, which would be free, and taken online? The class would educate, build awareness, engage employers, and recruit interested parties.

  12. Comment

    There is no reason that the current CERT curriculum cannot be used in the workplace. The problem is getting employers to buy in to the idea of paying employees to go through 20 hours of training. CERT is CERT is CERT. Teen CERT is the same as Campus CERT which is the same as the regular CERT, with differences being in teaching methodology.

  13. Comment
    Two Cents

    Employers will not pay for CERT at least not on the scale that is necessary. So offer a NEW free quality online fundamental course targeted at the workplace that can be taken from work or home. Email the employer and employee the results. This creates awareness, education, and momentum and will recruit both employees and employers. You can make this happen for less than $100K and the benefits will be enormous.

  14. Comment

    Workplace safety programs often have an element to disaster or catastrophe response, and these are currently regulated by OSHA. The OSHA rules are in need of updating and should "cross-pollinate" with the CERT agenda as there is much similarity. For example, recognizing hazardous chemical to avoid with tornado exposure problems, flammable liquids, electrical safety, use of fire extinguishers, first aid, ...specific hazard mitigation and response like o awareness. Just a tip of the iceberg!