Community Emergency Response Team


The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. Using their training, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event and can take a more active role in preparing their community. The motto is "doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people". The CERT program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security. 



Learn invaluable skills!

In a 21-hour hands-on course, CERT members are trained to: 

  • Prepare for a disaster
  • Describe the types of hazards most likely to affect their communities
  • Identify risks & reduce fire hazards
  • Work in a team setting
  • Learn the Incident Command System
  • Apply basic fire suppression strategies
  • Apply basic first aid techniques to open airways, control bleeding & treat shock
  • Perform head-to-toe assessments
  • Set up treatment areas
  • Size-up search & rescue situations
  • Conduct light search & rescue operations
  • Use safe techniques for debris removal & victim extrication

Being a CERT Member!

CERT members can assist others by applying the basic response and organizational skills that they learn during training. These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives. CERT skills also apply to daily emergencies.

In a 21-hour course, response team members are trained to take care of themselves and help others in their communities for the first three days following a disaster. This is when debris-clogged or damaged roads, disrupted communications, or a high volume of calls may prevent access by emergency response personnel.

CERT members maintain and refine their skills by participating in exercises and activities. They can attend supplemental training opportunities offered by the sponsoring agency and others to increase their skills.

Finally, CERT members can volunteer for projects that improve community emergency preparedness.

Why be a Member?

The primary reason for CERT training is to give people decision-making, organizational and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors, and associates while waiting for help. The goal of the CERT program is to train volunteers to be effective and efficient in disaster mitigation, response and recovery without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.

How do I get involved?

To become a CERT member, you will need to complete the CERT training course administered by a sponsoring agency like an emergency management agency, fire or police department.