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What is CERT?


During a disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm emergency response services. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is designed to give you the skills and knowledge to prepare for and safely take care of yourself and your family in an emergency or disaster situation.  CERT Basic Training Course graduates may also volunteer to assist with the response effort during an emergency or a disaster.


CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where people will initially be on their own and their actions can make a difference. While people will respond to others in need without the training, one goal of the CERT program is to help them do so effectively, efficiently and safely. In the CERT training, students learn to:

  • Prepare for disasters and emergencies

  • Manage utilities and put out small fires with a fire extinguisher

  • Treat the three top killers in a disaster by:

    • opening airways

    • controlling excessive bleeding

    • treating for shock

  • Provide basic disaster medical aid

  • Search for and rescue victims safely

  • Organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be

  • Conduct rapid assessment of neighborhood damage to aid
    disaster response efforts

The 20 hour CERT Basic Training Course has nine units:

  1. Disaster Preparedness

  2. Fire safety and suppression

  3. Disaster Medical Operations Part 1

  4. Disaster Medial Operations Part 2

  5. Light Search and Rescue

  6. CERT Organization

  7. Disaster Psychology

  8. CERT and Terrorism

  9. Skills Day 

At the end of the CERT Basic course you receive a Certificate of Completion and when supplies permit, each participant receives a CERT Backpack with basic CERT gear including a helmet, CERT vest, goggles, gloves, etc.

CERT Basic Training Course graduates can join the CERT Program and volunteer in the event of a major emergency or disaster.

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