Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

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Mission CERT Logo
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 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.

CERT Photo

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.

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CERT Objectives
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

What is the training format?
What will I learn?
How much does it cost to attend the training?
Do I have to live in Cedar Park to sign up for the training?
How old must I be to attend the training?
Is there child care?
I have physical limitations. Can I still sign up for the Basic class?
Do I have to join a CERT team after I complete the training?
During registration on Preparing Texas, what does it mean when it asks for Agency/Dept and Position/Title?