Students, faculty train for crisis

By Eli Haims

About 30 people, including several students, prepared for disaster in Community Emergency Response Team training on March 28 and March 29, Head of Security Jim Crawford said. The program, which was run by the Los Angeles Fire Department, was designed to prepare students and faculty for a crisis, which could be a fire, earthquake or on-campus shooter.

Crawford said that if a disaster like the March earthquake in Japan strikes Harvard-Westlake, the school may be on its own for up to 72 hours before the fire department, police or paramedics would be able to reach it.

The training consisted of learning first aid, search and rescue tactics and how to put out fire, among other things.

Additionally, those who took part learned how to tell the difference between victims that they could and could not help.

Crawford said that participants were taught to try to resuscitate victims two times before moving on to the next one.

“It’s more dealing with the masses,” Crawford said. “[The program] teaches you to think more globally.”

The students who completed the training will now take part in disaster drills, aiding the security personnel and other faculty certified by CERT.

“[The training] was definitely beneficial because prior to it, I myself knew nothing about emergency preparation,” Theo Davis ’13, who took part in the training, said. “If we can get everyone at school to do the training, everyone will be better prepared.”

Crawford says that next year the disaster drills will attempt to simulate an actual disaster, and the fire and police departments will take part. Triage areas and a command post will be set up in order to make the drills as realistic as possible.

Additionally, an emergency messaging system that will send emails and text messages to all students and faculty who are on campus during a lockdown is also being set up. Crawford says that the system will be tested after computer services finishes importing all of the required information into the program.

Crawford says that the system is designed not only to let students and faculty know about any lockdowns, whether due to an on-campus shooter or someone the police are looking for near campus, but also to provide updated information throughout the crisis. It will be tested to ensure that all students and faculty receive the messages as soon as all of the information is inputted.