The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program was developed because of the need for a trained civilian emergency workforce. The CERT Program provides for community self-sufficiency through the development of multifunctional response teams who act as adjunct to the county’s emergency services during major disasters. CERT members can also assist with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of their community.
CERT is free and open to anyone. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive news and information and to sign up for the next 8-week CERT session.
The CERT program was first developed by the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985, and the first CERT group completed its training in early 1986. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) now uses the program as a national model for other communities, and President Bush endorses this training as part of the Citizen Corps Program.
How it Works
The basic CERT training program is a 20-hour course, typically delivered one evening per week over an 8-week period. Training sessions cover disaster preparedness, fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, team organization and terrorism awareness. The training concludes with a disaster simulation in which participants practice skills that they learned throughout the course. Established CERT members meet monthly for additional training and updates.
Who are CERT Students?
• School Administrators
• Public Agency Workers
• Church Members
• Homeowners Association Members
• City Employees
• Business and Industry
• Community Groups
Why Should I Take CERT Training?
If there is a natural or man-made event that overwhelms or delays the community's professional responders, CERT members can assist others by applying the basic response and organizational skills that they learned during their CERT training. These skills can help save and sustain lives until help arrives. CERT members also can volunteer for special projects that improve a community's preparedness.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Being trained on how to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in your own community is one of the most important things you can do to assist during an emergency. You don't have to become a CERT member to participate in and complete the training. By completing the training you will be able to assist yourself, your family and your neighbors during a major emergency or disaster.
Upon completion of the CERT program, you will be able to:
• Describe the types of hazards that are most likely to affect your home and community
• Take steps to prepare yourself for a disaster
• Identify and reduce potential fire hazards in your home or workplace
• Conduct triage under simulated disaster conditions
• Perform head-to-toe patient assessment
• Employ basic treatments for various wounds, and apply splints to suspected fractures and sprains
• Describe ways to protect rescuers during light search and rescue operations
CERT Frequently Asked Questions
Most topics involve instructor-led training using PowerPoint and video. Some topics include hands on training, for example, practicing bandaging each other. A portion of the training is usually held at the fire training center where you can practice how to put out fires and learn basic search and rescue.Although the training covers serious topics, the instructors do their best to make sure that everyone has a good time. It is a fairly informal setting and questions are always encouraged.
Upon completion of the CERT program, you will be able to (among other things):
- Describe the types of hazards that are most likely to affect your home and community and learn ways to reduce their potential.
- Learn how to use a fire extinguisher and how to shut off your gas.
- Take steps to prepare for a disaster; create a survival kit.
- Apply a sling, splints, and bandages; stop bleeding.
- Perform basic search and rescue, and get someone out from under a heavy object.