By Teague Magner

Special to the Denisonian

The first official meeting for the Community Emergency Response Team was held by Dan Hect, Campus Safety Director, in the Mitchell Center on Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is not something that is specific to Denison’s campus. It is something that exists in each county throughout the United States. Hect connected with the Licking County Homeland Security Office to organize this training.

Hect said that the goal of search and rescue training is “to add structure to a campus response that is the result of a missing person.”

The new Director of Campus Safety enlisted Lori Lee Dixon, CERT Coordinator of Licking County Homeland Security, to lead this training on Denison’s campus. She will be providing participants with homeland security training, medical treatment, examples of community initiative, safety for participants and more.

Additionally, she will be helpful in explaining and teaching the procedure of what to do once an individual has been found. This is a crucial element in the safety of everyone involved.

The Homeland Security Office in Licking County instructed students and other Denison Community Members such as Hect’s two sons in seven additional training sessions after the one that kicked off this initiative this past Thursday.

Hect mentioned he was amazed by the turnout of participants in the past to aid the Denison Safety Team. He mentioned specifically, “I have enjoyed watching the way the community has come together to work with Campus Safety”.

This is a nationwide problem that exists, Homeland Security specifically developed this concept of a Community Emergency Response Team in 1993 and falls under Homeland Security’s Citizen Corps program.

The major concern Hect has is the weather in the Midwest and believes that this is a reason why this National Incident Management System is important to implement.

Hect stated: “We thought this was a great opportunity to connect with the community” And they have done just this – seen a need for an additional resource on campus and Hect has successfully connected our campus with the proper office in a professional manner. After already seeing the community step up in a positive way as a result of previous issues on campus, Hect is excited to see how much further this will bring the campus.

Denison is a campus that has a huge community element and as Hect mentioned he has enjoyed seeing the ways in which the students, staff, and faculty have come together in various events throughout the year to find solutions to problems that may exist. Hect is committed to ensuring the Campus Safety officers and himself are both transparent and accountable.

Hect invited everyone to ‘like’ the Denison Campus Safety page on Facebook. Additionally, you can follow him on Twitter (@DanielHect) or you can even tune into his radio show, “What Matters to you”, on the Doobie from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. on Fridays.

Photo Courtesy of Hai Nghiem