National Academies Press: OpenBook

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

Chapter: Appendix C - Frequently Asked Questions

« Previous: Appendix B - CERT Overview
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Frequently Asked Questions." 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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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Frequently Asked Questions." 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 41
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Frequently Asked Questions." 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 42
Page 43
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Frequently Asked Questions." 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 43

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40 a p p e n d i x C Frequently Asked Questions9 9 Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/faq.shtm.

Frequently asked Questions 41 State Citizen Corps A: An Airport CERT (A-CERT) program is developed to assist airports in responding to threats and emergencies including natural disasters or manmade events that can quickly overwhelm airport personnel and first responders. The CERT program educates and organizes community volunteers that can be an extremely beneficial resource for airports dealing with emergency response and recovery operations. Airports are diverse and all have unique operating characteristics depending on the community that they serve. An A-CERT, therefore may be developed as part of an existing community CERT program or as an independent airport dedicated A-CERT program. A: There are many ways that an airport may potentially benefit from the development of an A-CERT program. Airports vary in terms of governance, facilities, security needs, and staffing available for response to emergency situations. An A-CERT may prove to be useful in assisting airports with limited resources or as a supplement to community response capabilities. Depending on the nature of the threat, a wide range of potential resources and manpower may be required to help respond to and recover from situations that may overwhelm first responders. An A-CERT provides a trained cadre of community responders that are familiar with individual airport needs and operational procedures to assist in better and more sustained response. A: A-CERT requires a partnership between community members and airport staff as well as agencies tasked with emergency response as provided for each airport’s emergency plan. Airports must carefully evaluate needs on a case-by-case basis to determine resources that will be required to address threats identified in individual airport hazard analysis. This evaluation may also include discussion with local emergency management agencies to determine whether a dedicated A-CERT or use of an existing community CERT program would best support airport needs and operations. The program does take a commitment of time and resources from all parties. A: Congress has provided funds through the Citizen Corps program to the States and Territories. Grants from these funds may be available to local communities to start CERT programs. Contact your point of contact to learn more about grant possibilities. Also, there are a variety of local approaches to funding. Some communities build costs into their local budget while others charge participants to attend training to cover costs for instructors and course materials. In a few communities, CERT organizations have Q: What is an Airport CERT? Q: How does an Airport CERT benefit the airport? Q: How do we start an Airport CERT program? Q: How can an Airport CERT be funded? 9 Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/faq.shtm.

42 integrating CeRTs at airports: What is CeRT and How do i Use it? formed 501(c)3 for non-profit status to allow them to do fundraising and seek corporate donations. A: Not at this time. A: Not at this time. A: A-CERT training is an essential component of any Airport CERT program. Because each airport has varying threats, procedures, security requirements, response structures, and operating characteristics, it is important that a CERT responder becomes familiar with working in an airport environment. A: A-CERT training is coordinated through a sponsoring airport, or community emergency management agency responsible for serving the airport. To become an A-CERT member, you will be required to take the CERT training from a sponsoring agency such as a local fire department, police department, or airport. Contact the airport manager or emergency manager where you live to inquire about the opportunities to serve where you live. A: A-CERT members and the local sponsoring agency work together to maintain team skills and the working partnership. It is suggested that the sponsor conduct refresher classes and an annual exercise where all CERT members are invited to participate. Some response agencies have conducted joint exercises with CERT teams and operate as they would during an actual disaster. The last point does bring up a lesson learned. Besides training CERT members, it is also important to educate members of response agencies in the community about CERTs, the skills that team members have learned during training and the role that they will have during a major disaster. One way to develop trust between CERT and responders is by encouraging agency personnel to participate in classes as instructors and coaches and in activities with CERT members. Understand that CERTs may operate independently following a disaster. CERTs can practice this independence by taking some responsibility for their own training. Teams can design activities and exercises for themselves and with other teams. Some members can be rescuers, some victims, and some evaluators. After the event, there can be a social so that community teams can discuss the exercise and get to know each other. Q: Can airport improvement funds (AIP) be used to fund an Airport CERT? Q: Is there any Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding available to support an Airport CERT? Q: Why take specific Airport CERT training? Q: How do I take Airport CERT training? Q: How do Airport CERT members maintain their skills?

Frequently asked Questions 43 Q: Is a criminal background check required to be a part of an Airport CERT? A: This depends on whether the airport wishes to use volunteers in the aircraft movement area or just in the public areas. TSA may require a criminal background check, depending on access granted to the A-CERT members. Q: Can someone under age 18 participate? A: This is a local decision. Someone under 18 should be with a parent or have permission to attend. Some communities have reached out specifically to young people. Winter Springs High School in Florida offers the training to high school students. You can read an article about this. CERT is a great way to address the community service requirements for high school students and provides students with useful skills. CERT also fits nicely with training given to Boy and Girl Scouts and the Civil Air patrol. Q: What about liability? A: The text of the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 is available for viewing. Also there is information about State Liability Laws located on the Citizen Corps website. During training, each sponsoring agency should brief its CERT members about their responsibilities as a CERT member and volunteer. Finally, there is a job aid on liability for you to review in our Start a CERT program section. The CERT material was developed by the Los Angeles City Fire Department and adopted by FEMA in 1993. The CERT manual contains basic and straightforward material that has been accepted by those using it as the standard for training. It is important to remember that the best sources of help in emergencies are professional responders. However, in situations when they are not immediately available, people will want to act and help. CERT training teaches skills that people can use to safely help while waiting for responders. The alternate is to do nothing and that is not in our nature.

Next: Appendix D - A-CERT Exercise Plan »
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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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