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.
Who are CERT Students?
- School Administrators
- Public Agency Workers
- Church Members
- Homeowners Association Members
- City Employees
- Business and Industry
- Community Groups
- Concerned Citizens
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.
The CERT program was first developed by the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985, and the first CERT Team 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 endorsed this training as part of the Citizen Corps Program.
The 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.