MORGANTOWN , W.Va.As part of the WVU Emergency Response Plan, the WVU Police Department is establishing a CERT (Campus Emergency Response Team) Program for the University, in cooperation with WVU Environmental Health and Safety, MECCA , the Morgantown Fire Department and Monongalia County EMS .

The program, supported by FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security, educates volunteers from the community in disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.

Its critical that the University have employees and students who are trained should an emergency situation occur on campus or in the broader community,said WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts.Trained teams have proven to reduce the loss of life and facilitate quicker recovery as well as reducing panic within their communities. We believe this program is important to our campus communitys emergency preparedness.

Kate Van Sant, assistant to Chief Roberts has already begun training for Campus Emergency Response Teams. Sergeant Peggy Runyon, officers Jason Bolyard and Josh Cook in the WVU Police Department, and Natalie Hill in WVU Environmental Health and Safety have also been trained in the CERT Program. Volunteers are now being solicited from WVU s employees to initiate a pilot program to go through training in early August. This implementation for employees will be followed by a program for student teams later this fall.

Experts in the various areas of disaster preparedness from the Morgantown Fire Department and Monongalia County EMS have agreed to assist in the hands-on sections of the training, while MECCA will be providing kits, manuals and refreshments.

All WVU employees, who are interested in participating, are asked to complete volunteer application forms at by Wednesday, July 15.More information on the program can be found at *