Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Student Emergency Response Team offers emergency training, certification to MSU students

March 31, 2024
A bleeding control kit, located at East Fee Hall in East Lansing, Michigan on March 29, 2024. Bleeding control kits are located in all buildings on campus thanks to the efforts of the Student Emergency Response Team.
A bleeding control kit, located at East Fee Hall in East Lansing, Michigan on March 29, 2024. Bleeding control kits are located in all buildings on campus thanks to the efforts of the Student Emergency Response Team. —
Photo by Brendan Mullin | The State News

The Student Emergency Response Team is a registered student organization at Michigan State that provides hands-on emergency training to undergraduate students.

SERT allows students the free opportunity to become trained by medical students and professionals on what to do in case of an emergency. These certification events include training on emergencies involving CPR, AED, alcohol intoxication, choking and splinting.

Human biology senior Saif Juma, who is the founder and co-president of SERT, said people want to learn how to respond to emergencies.

"There is a demand to learn what to do," Juma said. "Students don't want to feel helpless. Students just want to learn what to do in the event of an emergency, and they just want to be proactive."

Following the Feb. 13, 2023 campus shooting, Juma and SERT have put a larger focus on their "Stop the Bleed" certification events. This nationwide initiative aims to teach people basic bleeding control techniques. This effort, Juma said, can save lives.

"I do believe that a majority of students have the want to learn and should be equipped with the knowledge to know what to do in a state of emergency," Juma said. "The worst thing you can feel is helplessness. We could possibly save a life with these training sessions, and I feel like that in itself is enough."

SERT has already certified over 100 students in the Stop the Bleed training, along with another 200 in basic life support training, Juma said.

On April 3, SERT will host its largest Stop the Bleed event yet, with 300 available spots that will allow students to become certified. This event will take place at the Stem Building in room 1130 from 7-8 p.m. and will be free to all undergraduate students. 

The event will start with a 15-minute lecture, then move to a hands-on component where students will have the opportunity to be trained on wound packing skills, tourniquets and more. 

Human biology junior and SERT co-president George Hale said this event is a great way for students to learn what to do in emergency situations.  

"Last year after the shooting, we told ourselves that we need to step it up and actually implement some real life hands-on skills that people can use in the case of a real emergency," Hale said. "With this certification training, along with SERT, we want to increase the emergency preparedness on campus."

When Hale was a freshman at Michigan State taking introductory medical classes, he found the courses were lecture heavy and did not fulfill what he thought they needed to cover. Hale believes that SERT is provides the opposite by focusing on hands-on work. 

Hale believes SERT is unique because it can reach every major and demographic. The club aims to reach the general MSU student population, rather than just pre-medical students. 

SERT has also partnered with the MSU administration and MSU Department of Police and Public Safety to implement Bleeding Control Kits in every building on campus. These kits will consist of tourniquets, gauze and other medical tools to stop bleeding.

Because of this, SERT plans on leading Stop the Bleed training every semester, which will include lessons on how to use the resources in the kits.

Both Juma and Hale believe that the club's future is bright. Hale believes SERT has the potential to be one of the biggest student organizations at MSU.

One of SERT's first members, human biology junior John Tobia, said the club has given him and others the opportunity to grow and learn. 

"The thing I loved about SERT is that it has really guided me towards giving me a purpose in emergency situations," Tobia said. "I feel like SERT guides not just people that are aspiring for medicine, but people that are looking for a purpose, or just want general knowledge on emergency care."

Tobia came to MSU as an aspiring medical student and was interested in EMT work. When looking for a club to join, SERT caught his eye because of its hands-on work. 

Because of SERT, Tobia is currently BLS, CPR, AED and Stop the Bleed certified, all of which came at no cost. 

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Tobia said he will attend the April 3 Stop the Bleed event to be recertified and learn something new from different instructors.

"I think given the fact that this club in general started from nothing and it is where it is now just speaks volume to where this club could be in the future," Tobia said. "I think if we continue down this path, we can reach something really cool."

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