Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

November 2011

OCCC's Community College Citizen Preparedness Program: Are You Ready?

 

OCCC Citizen Preparedness Program team members look through first responder kit
Pam Simonds, Cheryl Wolfe and Tsugi Coleman, members of the Oklahoma City Community College Citizen Preparedness Program team, look through their first responder kit.

The Community College Citizen Preparedness Program, or 3CP2, is a national initiative created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Recently, Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) was selected as one of 125 colleges throughout the United States to receive a FEMA national competitive grant, allowing the college to train staff and the community on protective actions to save lives and minimize injuries after a disaster and before the arrival of first responders.

The overall goal of 3CP2 is to train a minimum of 500,000 U.S. citizens through the nation’s colleges, over a three-year period, on specific protective actions in the event of a disaster.

Michael Reeves is among the first class learning of 3CP2 and says he has gained an understanding of what is most and least important during a disaster or emergency.

“I feel that learning fundamental categorizing skills mixed with basic first aid will help me help others if there is ever a tragedy on campus,” said Reeves. “It’s also sad but important to learn that there may be a time when I have to help the ones I can, and perhaps pass over those who may be fatally injured.”

Reeves also said that all visitors to the campus have a better chance of surviving a catastrophe due to so many OCCC employees being trained with the correct information and knowledge relating to such an event.

Sheri Kingsbury, also learning about the preparedness program, said that she’s learned a lot about how to determine if a building is safe to enter, the importance of turning off the utilities, marking the building with information for the appropriate people after a disaster and tagging people who may be injured in the building after a disaster.

“I feel that the program is beneficial to the college because in case of a real disaster, the CERT teams can help determine the damages and help people who are injured before the fire department, EMS, police and others arrive on the scene,” Kingsbury said.

Of the most significant lessons, Kingsbury says she knows she’s supposed to keep herself and her team safe.

The preparedness program is being taught by Lisa Teel and Penny Hampton. For more information about the Community College Citizen Preparedness Program, please call ext. 7148 or 7827.

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