DSU Prepares for Emergencies with Purchase of a CERT Trailer

DSU Prepares for Emergencies with Purchase of a CERT Trailer


Monday, March 16th, 2015

In an effort to be better prepared to manage an emergency situation should one arise, Dixie State University has recently acquired a fully stocked emergency response trailer.

The equipment will prove invaluable to the university’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) should they need to assist people on the DSU campus and throughout the Washington County community in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.

“Possessing this new equipment strengthens DSU’s Emergency Operation Plan, is a innovative approach in higher education and exemplifies leadership in emergency preparedness and response within the community,” DSU Risk Manager Josh Thayn said.

The trailer was purchased using custodial equipment funds, and the equipment stored inside was purchased and stocked by DSU’s Office of Risk Management and Safety.

Prior to purchasing the trailer, the university’s Campus Services Department established a 16-member CERT. Made up of DSU faculty and staff who are trained and committed to disaster preparedness and emergency response, the team was established two years ago under the leadership of Sherry Ruesch, executive director of Campus Services, and the training guidance of Dennis Cox, DSU’s hazmat specialist.

The CERT program educates participants about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic emergency response skills. As part of their training, participants learn about fire suppression, light search and rescue, medical operations, terrorism, disaster psychology and team organization. Using the training they acquired in the classroom and skills they gained during hands-on exercises, CERT members become a resource to their workplace and community following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. They also collaborate with other departments and agencies to help improve the safety of their community.

Dixie State University plans to offer refresher training courses and full-scale exercises as well as train a second DSU response team. The CERT training course is 30 hours of instruction divided into seven classes. To learn more about CERT or becoming a member of the team, contact DSU Risk Manager Josh Thayn at jthayn@dixie.edu or 435-652-7855.