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What is CERT?


Local government prepares for everyday emergencies. However, during a disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency response services. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is an all-risk, all-hazard training program designed to give you the skills and knowledge to help you protect yourself, your family in an emergency or disaster situation.  CERT Basic Training Course graduates may also volunteer to be activated by the city to assist with the response effort during a major 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 emergencies and disasters

  • Manage utilities and put out small fires

  • Treat the three medical killers 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 effective

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

Why do the CERT training?


Well, it’s like paying for car insurance. You might never need either; you’d hope not to. But if the occasion arises, having the CERT training, just like having car insurance, means you’re as ready as you can be to help yourself, your family and your neighborhood.  CERT training can be fun and rewarding in other ways too.


How do I join?


To join CERT you'll need to take the CERT Basic Training Course.  CERT Basic Training Course students receive 20 hours  of initial training. that is followed by monthly training meetings, various disaster drills and opportunities to train with other groups.

CERT is provided free of charge by the Morgan Hill Office of Emergency Management and Gilroy Office of Emergency Management to anyone 18 or older, or 12 to 17 years old with a parent or legal guardian taking the classes with them.

Classes are taught on various schedules twice yearly in Gilroy and twice yearly in Morgan Hill.  Schedules and registration information are found under the CERT Basic Training Course page.  If you miss a class, you can go to any other location to make it up. When you arrive at the make-up session, inform the instructor that you are making up a class.

You can also organize a class for your neighborhood, business or community group. You need a minimum of 20 people to be trained and a location to hold the training. Use the "Contact" page to let us know that you'd like to have us provide a class to your group.

The Gilroy Community Emergency Response Team does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. 

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