The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is a nationally supported, locally implemented initiative that teaches people how to better prepare themselves for hazards that may affect their communities. Since 1993, CERT trains the public in basic disaster response skills such as team organization, disaster medical operations, fire safety, and light search and rescue. The ability for CERT volunteers to perform these activities frees up professional responders to focus their efforts on more complex, essential, and critical tasks. There are now CERT programs in all 50 states, including many tribal nations and U.S. territories. Each is unique to its community and all are essential to building a Culture of Preparedness in the United States. There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide and more than 600,000 people have trained since CERT became a national program.
Before, during, and after disasters, CERT volunteer teams perform basic response activities, including checking in on neighbors, distributing information to the public, supporting emergency operations centers, and helping to manage traffic and crowds. Local CERT programs train and organize teams of volunteers to assist their families, neighbors, co-workers, and other community members during emergencies when professional responders may not be immediately available to provide assistance. CERT offers various opportunities with you in mind.
This covers basic skills that are important to know in a disaster when emergency services are not available. With training and practice, and by working as a team, you will be able to protect yourself and maximize your capability to help for the greatest number of people after a disaster. There are 9 core units to CERT basic trainings.
Unit 1: Disaster Preparedness
Unit 2: CERT Organization
Unit 3: Disaster Medical Operations - Part 1
Unit 4: Disaster Medical Operations - Part 2
Unit 5: Disaster Psychology
Unit 6: Fire Safety and Utility Controls
Unit 7: Light Search and Rescue Operations
Unit 8: Terrorism and CERT
Unit 9: Course Review, Final Exam and Disaster Simulation
Interested in learning more? Learn more about CERT’s 9 core basic training units.