The concept of a collegiate CERT team at Stony Brook had been tossed around frequently at management-level meetings and conferences. However, it wasn’t until the fall semester of 2008 that the idea became reality. In October 2008, two juniors, Dev Jani and Jeryes (Jerry) Freih met Baycan Fideli, Director of Residential Risk Management, at a fire prevention exhibition outside Tabler Quad. There, Mr. Fideli mentioned he had work positions available for students with firematic background, and subsequently hired Jerry and Dev. As Mr. Fideli was an early proponent of the CERT team, he urged the two students to formulate and construct the framework. They set to work upon it immediately.
With the assistance of founding advisor Lawrence Coonfare Jr. and fellow student Andrew Ozolins, C-CERT recruited its first ten student members in January 2009.
Now, C-CERT is a thriving volunteer emergency response organization with a fully trained membership and the logistical capability to respond anywhere on campus and the surrounding community. We take pride in knowing we were one of the nation’s first fully functioning C-CERT program, paving the way for many other institutions to start their own. Stony Brook C-CERT operates under a chain-of-command system normally not seen in CERT programs, and all training is devised and given in-house based upon the guidelines set forth by FEMA. The organization is now under the jurisdiction of both Campus Residences (Student Affairs) and University Emergency Management.
We look forward to growing and serving the Stony Brook community. C-CERT is always actively recruiting students, faculty and staff interested in making a difference here at Stony Brook.
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