National Academies Press: OpenBook

Integrating Community Emergency Response Teams (A-CERTs) at Airports (2013)

Chapter: Chapter 1 - Introduction: What Is CERT and How Do I Use It?

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction: What Is CERT and How Do I Use It?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Integrating Community Emergency Response Teams (A-CERTs) at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22468.
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Page 1
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction: What Is CERT and How Do I Use It?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Integrating Community Emergency Response Teams (A-CERTs) at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22468.
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Page 2
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction: What Is CERT and How Do I Use It?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Integrating Community Emergency Response Teams (A-CERTs) at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22468.
×
Page 3
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction: What Is CERT and How Do I Use It?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Integrating Community Emergency Response Teams (A-CERTs) at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22468.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

1 Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) have been developed around the coun- try to assist professional emergency management personnel and first responders in responding to disasters and emergencies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under its Citizens Corps program, has established minimum training standards; however, each commu- nity uses its CERT volunteers as it deems most appropriate and provides additional training as applicable. While many communities, including some with airports, have established CERTs, program guidance is needed to assist in developing and integrating CERTs into airport emer- gency response plans. Airports of all sizes may quickly exhaust their emergency response capabilities and become overwhelmed in a natural disaster or aircraft incident and may use community members who want to provide assistance. Although smaller airports tend to have more limited staff, they may become the community rallying point in a disaster recovery plan in the same way as larger air- ports. As such, volunteers can be a valuable resource to an airport. However, it is not the time during a disaster or emergency to determine qualifications, provide training, and obtain neces- sary security checks to enlist or use assisting volunteers. Developing a guidebook to address every airport becomes challenging because airports vary in size, levels of operations, security requirements, and levels of available resources. This guid- ance is designed to assist airport management with the initiation of a program while remaining flexible and user friendly. Airport management will determine their desired levels of training and participation for CERT volunteers. They will also determine which activities and events fit their operational needs, from basic informational airport tour guides to highly trained responses in a large scale aircraft accident or natural disaster. The objective of this guidebook is to assist an airport community in developing an Airport CERT (A-CERT) program that includes the following: • An awareness plan and description of benefits, • Implementation guidance, and • Steps for integrating into airport emergency response planning. The airport community should expect to benefit from area volunteers who have a response interest and who possess various skills to supplement the airport staff in time of need. This will allow airport staff the ability to focus on prioritized needs and ensure a more efficient response. This guidebook is designed to assist airport communities with the initial development of an A-CERT. The success of the A-CERT program will depend on your airport’s input, development, volunteer training, and community dedication. C H A P T E R 1 Introduction: What Is CERT and How Do I Use It?

2 Integrating CERTs at Airports: What Is CERT and How Do I Use It? About Airport CERT1 The following information will introduce the airport manager to the Basic CERT Training program and thus provide the airport manager with a general overview to initiate the develop- ment of an A-CERT program. Introduction It is very likely that, following a major incident at the airport, the airport’s emergency response resources will be exhausted. Therefore, it is important for airport managers to develop plans for additional assistance. This assistance can be found in volunteer groups of trained individuals known as CERTs. As the research for this guidebook has revealed, several cities, counties, and airports have built their own CERT teams in the last few years. Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services may not be able to meet the demand for these services. Trained emergency medical services (EMS) workers will likely be tending to those people who are critically injured or may be attempting to return the facilities back to normal operations. A large number of other patrons of the airport will need to be attended to and may require additional services that will likely not be available. This gap represents a unique opportunity to engage a volunteer cadre of pre-trained people to assist the airport in their quest for normal operations. If it is predicted that emergency services will not meet immediate needs following a major disaster, especially if there is no warning as in an earthquake, and people will spontaneously volunteer, what can government do to prepare citizens for this eventuality? The creation of a CERT for the airport may be the stopgap measure that is needed for the airport to remain functional in time of need. Training programs have been designed to initiate, develop, market, and train volunteers for assistance as “near first responders.” It is important that this group be identified and properly educated on the intricacies that exist on an airport. There are three models of A-CERT teams that have been successful: 1. Use of airport employees who do not usually have a direct role in emergency or disaster response such as administrative, engineering, planning, etc.; 2. Use of existing outside CERT teams or recruiting outside volunteers; or 3. A combination of the above. Once a model has been selected, airport-specific CERT training may be conducted for the group that follows a standardized national curriculum. First, present the team the facts about what to expect following a major disaster in terms of immediate services. Second, give the message about their responsibility for mitigation and pre- paredness. Third, train them in needed lifesaving skills with emphasis on decision-making skills, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. Fourth, organize teams so that they are an extension of first responder services offering immediate help to victims until professional services arrive or filling the gaps that need to be covered at an airport when the normal public safety response is fully tasked. 1 Adapted from About CERT. http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/about.shtm.

Introduction: What Is CERT and How Do I Use It? 3 Maintaining Involvement When participants have completed this training, it is important to keep them connected to the airport and allow for practice of their newly developed skills. Trainers should offer periodic refresher sessions to reinforce basic training. CERT teams can sponsor events such as drills, air shows, special ceremonies, and traveler’s aid to elicit engagement in the program. CERT members should receive recognition for completing their training. Airports and/or their communities may issue identification cards, vests, and helmets to graduates as credentials to allow them on scene. First responders will need to join the process so that they are aware of CERT members and their value on scene. Using CERT as a component of the response system when there are exercises for potential disasters can reinforce this idea. List of CERT Uses at Airports The following list contains some reported and potential uses for and benefits of CERT volun- teers at airports. Although some of these items are not strictly emergency-related, they represent good ways to engage volunteers and keep them interested in the airport. This approach addresses one of the challenges airports have experienced and allows them to have flexibility in using their A-CERT. Reported Uses • General – Staff family support centers. – Staff informational centers during high traffic periods such as holidays. – Provide assistance with parking, including special event parking. – Provide traffic control support. – Provide evacuation assistance by leading evacuees to marshaling points. – Assist in management of marshaling points. – Provide food and water to airport responders. – Assist first responders during special events. – Act as victims for drills and exercises. • Air shows – Assist with parking and traffic control. – Assist with crowd control. – Provide first aid assistance. – Provide food and water to workers. – Assist with clean-up efforts. • Natural disaster response and recovery – Flooding � Provide sandbagging assistance. � Augment evacuation efforts. – Tornado � Secure loose items, aircraft, and equipment. � Augment evacuation efforts. – Earthquake response � Conduct damage assessment of airport facilities. � Provide glass and debris clean-up.

4 Integrating CERTs at Airports: What Is CERT and How Do I Use It? � Augment evacuation efforts. � Assist with first aid and triage. Other Potential Uses • Serve as training instructors for other CERT volunteers. • Provide National Incident Management System (NIMS)/Incident Command System (ICS) training for airport personnel. • Conduct damage assessments. • Conduct perimeter/fence inspections. • Conduct airport debris inspections and removal. • Provide shelter management, especially shelter-in-place following flight cancellations due to storms, volcanic ash, or other hazards. • Assist law enforcement in conducting bomb searches. • Serve as scribes for command posts using web-based systems. • Serve as observers, evaluators, or safety officers for drills and exercises. • Recruit additional CERT members. • Serve as tour guides for school or civic groups. • Serve as drivers. • Assist airport law enforcement and security personnel by serving as escorts for special events or construction projects. • Provide security when airport perimeter is breached by a disaster or accident. • Provide scene security assistance. • Provide coordination of emergency vehicles/staging officers. • Assist with triage in mass casualty events. • Provide record keeping. • Provide maintenance assistance (e.g., snow removal, debris removal, electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning). • Provide Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliance assessment and recommendations. • Assist with search and rescue. • Provide human resources for situational long term recovery efforts. • Staff phone banks. • Provide communications assistance (i.e., act as runners). • Provide secondary communications capabilities (e.g., amateur radio). • Provide assistance with mass casualty patient transport. • Coordinate untrained volunteers. • Provide assistance responding to or recovering from acts of terrorism, vandalism, or criminal activity.

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 95: Integrating Community Emergency Response Teams at Airports (A-CERTs) provides guidance and tools designed to help organize and operate a citizen volunteer program to assist airport staff in emergency events or disasters.

The report, produced as a three part set, consists of the following:

• Part 1, What is a CERT and How Do I Use It?, explains what an community emergency response team (CERT) program is and how it can be used in the airport environment.

• Part 2, Basic Training Instructor Guide, includes a detailed curriculum designed to train volunteers to potentially assist at an airport during emergency events or disasters.

• Part 3, Basic Training Student Guide, is based on the instructors guide and is a resource for students as well as a takeaway from the training.

Also produced as part of ACRP Report 95 are customizable PowerPoint slides—for use by the instructor during training—and a video that can be used to educate the community and solicit volunteers.

View the ACRP Impacts on Practice for this report.

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