The mission of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is to provide the community with neighborhood based teams of trained volunteers who can respond immediately to any major disaster or emergency situation if professional first responders (police and fire/EMS personnel) are not immediately available to help.
What is CERT?
CERT is a training program that prepares you to help yourself, your family, and your neighbors in the event of a disaster. During an incident, emergency services personnel may not be able to reach everyone right away. By getting trained in CERT, you will have the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property. As a member of CERT team, you can respond to disasters, participate in drills and exercises, and take additional training. CERT teams are known and trusted resources that support emergency responders and their communities.
What do CERT teams do in an emergency?
Under the direction of local emergency responders, CERT teams help provide critical support by giving immediate assistance to victims, providing damage assessment information, and organizing other volunteers at a disaster site. Volunteers trained in CERT also offer a potential workforce for performing duties such as shelter support, crowd control and evacuation. The role of a CERT volunteer is to help themselves and to help others until trained emergency personnel arrive.
How does CERT help the community?
In addition to supporting emergency responders during a disaster, the CERT program builds strong working relationships between emergency responders and the people they serve. CERT teams also help the community year-round by helping with community emergency plans, neighborhood exercises, preparedness outreach, fire safety education, and workplace safety.
The benefits of CERT training:
CERT training takes about 20 hours to complete and provides critical skills in emergency preparedness and response.
Participants learn how to:
- Identify and anticipate hazards
- Reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace
- Extinguish small fires
- Assist emergency responders
- Conduct light search and rescue
- Set up treatment areas
- Apply basic medical techniques
- Help reduce survivor stress
Who should take CERT training?
- People interested in taking an active role in hometown
- Neighborhood Watch groups
- Community leaders
- Communities of faith
- Scouting and youth organizations
- Students, teachers, and administrators
- Members of clubs and civic organizations
For additional information regarding the CERT program, please refer to the links below:
Download the CERT Brochure
Community Emergency Response Team website: www.citizencorps.gov/cert
Volunteer Today: Local CERT Contact Information