September, at the beginning of a new school year, is an unusual time to hold a graduation ceremony.
But as Scott Rocco, Hillsborough’s assistant superintendent for personnel, said at a recent Board of Education meeting, it was appropriate for a special program.
That’s because 25 new staff members received certificates for successfully completing the school district’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training this summer.
CERT members, all volunteers, give critical support to first responders in emergencies, provide immediate assistance to victims, including CPR, organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site, suppress fires, and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.
The 27-hour CERT training was offered to the new staffers after they completed the district’s three-day orientation, Rocco said.
Hillsborough is only one of two school districts in the state that offer the course, Rocco said.
Training the teachers were Hillsborough Rescue Squad Chief David Gwin, Sgt. Lori Voorhees, and former Auten Road Intermediate School teacher Skip Emanuelli, who retired in June after 42 years in the district.
In April, 33 staff members graduated from CERT training and in June the district received a trailer from the state to use in emergency situations.