July 01, 2016

Future SERTs convene for initial train-the-trainer course

From April 25 to 29, a group of eight bilingual activists convened in Pittsburgh, Pa., for training to become part of a national cadre of Specialized Emergency Response Trainers. These newly qualified SERTs are representatives from Make the Road New York (MRNY), the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA). These organizations, in conjunction with the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Labor Institute, make up the Tony Mazzocchi Center partnership.

During the week-long course facilitated by TMC Program Administrator John Scardella, participants demonstrated individual and group presentations on how emergency responders need to protect themselves in the case of natural disasters, infectious disease outbreak and hazardous clean up instances. These trainees covered topics using the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) National Clearinghouse materials on Avian Flu, Dirty Bomb, Earthquakes, Wildfires, Flood or Hurricane, and Mold Clean Up and Treatment. They also utilized the TMC’s Small Group Activity Method (SGAM) along with other techniques that they would then apply in an emergency response situation.

These activists will join the rest of the SERTs in mid-July for a certification, or recertification for previous trainers, on the Incident Command System (ICS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS) courses.

“This will be a great opportunity to build solidarity between the two groups in working together as a cohesive unit in the case of an emergency response situation,” Scardella said.

Training reported in this article is supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number U45ES006175. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIEHS, NIH.

Posted In: Mazzocchi

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