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United Tribes receives Citizen Corps Award
20 August 2009

BISMARCK (UTN) - Tribes Technical College has received a 2009 National Citizen Corps Achievement Award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

      Representatives of the college accepted the award for “Outstanding Tribal Citizen Corps Council” at a recognition program August 11 during the National Conference on Community Preparedness.

Citizen Corps award presented, from left, FEMA Deputy Administrator Timothy Manning; David M. Gipp, United Tribes Technical College President; NEMA Incoming President David Maxwell; Barbara Schmitt, United Tribes Economic Development Director and principal CERT coordinator; and IAEM President Russ Decker.
FEMA photo.

      United Tribes was commended for its “efforts to improve community resilience” and leading the way in offering Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) to tribal organizations.

      United Tribes is the first tribal organization in the country to conduct CERT training. In 2002, the campus community of 1,000 people, located in the greater Bismarck-Mandan area, became the first locality in North Dakota to assemble and train a CERT team.

      Approximately 35 individuals from the five reservations in North Dakota (Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Tribe, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Three Affiliated Tribes and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa) became the first certified tribal CERT members in the nation.

      Since the implementation of the CERT program, UTTC has certified close to 500 individuals on seven reservations in the states of North and South Dakota. CERT members are trained to take care of themselves and then help others in their communities for the first three days following a disaster.

      UTTC was also instrumental in organizing the first Citizen Corps Councils on each reservation in North Dakota.

      According to FEMA, the award exemplifies excellence in community emergency planning and the implementation of sound programs that can be modeled for use by other communities.

      The United Tribes Council was highlighted at an Award Winner Showcase during the conference in Arlington, VA. It will also be promoted on the National Citizen Corps website and in other Citizen Corps materials.

      Citizen Corps is FEMA's grassroots comprehensive strategy to actively involve the full community in preparing and building resilience through participation with emergency management in planning, prevention, mitigation, response and recovery.