The Federal Emergency Management Agency, using the model created by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, began promoting nationwide use of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept in 1994. Since then, CERT programs have been established in hundreds of communities. CERT training promotes a partnering effort between emergency services and the people they serve.

The goal is for emergency personnel to train members of neighborhoods, community organizations, or workplaces in basic response skills. This allows community members to help effectively and efficiently in an emergency without placing themselves in unnecessary danger. Once trained, CERT members are then integrated into the emergency response capability for their area. If a disaster occurs and local response resources are overwhelmed, CERT members can apply the training learned in the classroom and during exercises to give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until professional help arrives. When help does arrive, CERT's provide useful information to responders and support their efforts, as directed, at the disaster site.

CERT members can also assist with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community. Our CERT members help safeguard our campuses and facilities by conducting safety inspections, assisting during exercises and drills, and providing services at special events, such as parades, sporting events, concerts and more. It is important to remember that the best sources of help in emergencies are professional responders. However, in situations when they are not immediately available, CERT training allows members of the community to safely assist each other while waiting for help to arrive.


Established by federal standards, includes the following (presented in a 20-hour program):

• CERT Introduction
• Disaster Preparedness
• Fire Safety
• Disaster Medical Operations (Triage and Treatment of Life-Threatening Injuries)
• Disaster Medical Operations (Assessment, Treatment, and Hygiene)
• Light Search and Rescue
• Team Organization
• Disaster Psychology
• Terrorism and CERT
• Final Exercise