Highland Park ISD and City of Amarillo partner to bring ‘Teen CERT’ to the Panhandle
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Highland Park and the city of Amarillo have partnered to bring a Teen CERT program to the school district to help bring more safety to the campus.
Certified Emergency Response Team or CERT is a volunteer program to train individuals to be able to respond to emergency and natural disaster situations.
“When I took director here, it was something that we really wanted to do, we train them in certain areas so that way if something happens, we have a pre-identified group of folks that can come in and help,” said Chip Orton, director for the Office of Emergency Management.
Due to Highland Parks location and the increase concern of an active shooter event, the school believes having extra layers of safety on campus is vital to ensuring students and staff can focus on school.
“In the wake of Uvalde the more people that we can have that could respond to an emergency event on campus. and we just feel like that puts us in a better situation and keeps everybody safer,” said Jimmy Hannon, superintendent of Highland Park ISD.
Teen CERT was brought to the Panhandle to help with community needs during emergencies. The Office of Emergency Management believes these volunteers are necessary for every community.
“Ideally in a perfect quarter we’d love to have our program in every neighborhood, in every high school or every ISD really its neighbors helping neighbors,” said Orton.
“It’s scary to think that these types of things can happen in our community. I think the better prepared we are, the better we’ll be able to respond in the event that something didn’t take place,” said Hannon.
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