Coffee Break & Emergency Preparedness Training

What better way to get an update on campus emergency preparedness, then to share a cup of coffee with Timm Lovitt, Interim Dean of Student Success and Retention. A side note is that Timm is openly willing to exchange a cup of coffee for future favors down the road. While I may have just committed to something I can’t even imagine yet…it sure was a great cup of coffee.

Coffee Stand

The best coffee stand on campus!

What brought Timm and I together, besides love of coffee of course, was a training initiative he is leading the charge on. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is something that has never existed on our campus. Timm is very optimistic and eager to establish the “best CERT program there is.” He’s researched CERT at local and national levels, made recommendations to the campus Emergency Operations Committee (EOC), and initiated contact with the City of Auburn’s CERT program. The desired outcome will be our own CERT program, working with and supporting the campus EOC. Because these volunteers will be trained in many different avenues related to emergency response, the campus as a whole would be better prepared in dealing with emergent situations.

Coffee Break

Timm in deep thought as I ask CERT-related questions.

After Timm explained all that he was doing related to CERT, he also mentioned (so quickly in fact that I almost missed it) that he was the Director of Veteran Services as well as the Interim Dean of Student Success. Because I’m so new to Green River and this was my first time meeting Timm, I had now idea about his military background. As it turns out he spent five years in the Army (Go Army!) and says it helped him prepare to react to stressful situations and lead others to succeed. I then jokingly asked if working at Green River classified as a stressful situation…but Timm didn’t laugh.  ;)

Veterans Services

I even got a tour of the Veterans Services Office and met a vet who was in the process of transferring to a University.

Below is the actual message Timm created to collaborate and communicate awareness of upcoming CERT training. Stay tuned for more great CERT-related updates through our official college channels.

Over the past couple of months we’ve received a lot of inquiries from students, staff, and faculty about wanting to get involved in the college’s disaster response plan. Many individuals have expressed an interest in helping the campus remain resilient, especially during times of critical need. We have been overwhelmed by the sense of community and volunteerism and admire everyone who has stepped forward to ask “what can I do to help?” In response to your requests, here is one way that you might be able to be involved:

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is looking to build a pool of certified disaster preparedness volunteers. These volunteers may serve in various roles and capacities, when professional responders are not immediately available, and will regularly interact with a designated college point-of-contact (Timm Lovitt, Interim Dean of Student Success and Retention). Some of the roles could include fire safety, light search and rescue, and/or team organization.

If you are interested in volunteering we encourage you to seek out an official training program. One program that is local is the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). CERT is a federal program that educates people about disaster preparedness. The program includes instruction on basic disaster response, fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. Participants will receive a certification at the end of their course.

The City of Auburn’s Emergency Management Office offers several CERT courses each year. These classes are free of charge, but do require prior registration (space is limited). To register for this program please visit the City of Auburn’s Emergency Management Training webpage.

2015 CERT Offerings:

  • March 2nd to 25th (9:00 am to Noon every Monday and Wednesday)
  • April 2nd to May 9th (6:30 to 9:30 pm every Thursday)
  • August 18th to 20th (8:00 am to 5:00 pm, three full days)
  • October 6th to November 14th (6:30 to 9:30 pm every Tuesday)

Thank you for your time and interest!

Timm Lovitt,
Interim Dean of Student Success and Retention


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