MHS Sophomores Gain Certifications and Prepare to Become Future First Responders
Milton Hershey School sophomores who are enrolled in the Law, Public Safety, and Security career pathway within the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program recently completed their final exercise to obtain Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certifications.
To prepare for the final exercise in their CERT training, MHS students developed their skillsets and received certifications in several key areas, including incident command systems, American Heart Association Heartsaver® First Aid, and other disaster preparedness operations.
“Not only did they master classroom training, but each certification had built-in practical exercises to reinforce what students learned in the classroom,” said Paul Gaspich, a law, public safety, and security teacher at MHS. “Our students are trained not only for law, public safety, and security careers, but to be great citizens with the ability to respond to everything from large-scale disasters to minor incidents.”
During the CERT exercise, MHS students collaborated with the school’s Safety Department to expand on their classroom knowledge. They worked in teams to conduct a mock search and rescue operation, perform first aid techniques, and communicate effectively with the command post. After completing the exercise, students reflected on the successful parts of their mission and held constructive conversations with safety officers, considering how they could improve in the future.
“This was a practical application to reinforce what they learned in class, so they can fully comprehend the purpose behind the countless hours of instruction they received,” Gaspich added. “This exercise allowed students to practice their various certifications in real-world scenarios and makes them extremely marketable upon graduation.”
The CERT certification is one of more than 90 industry-recognized certifications MHS students are able to earn through the school’s award-winning Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. For the last eight years, 100 percent of graduating seniors earned at least one industry-recognized certification in their field of study.