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Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

What is CERT?

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

CERT Class

Benefits to the Community

People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or workplace. If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, 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 help arrives. When help does arrive, CERTs 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. CERTs have been used to distribute and/or install smoke alarms, replace smoke alarm batteries in the home of elderly, distribute disaster education material, provide services at special events, such as parades, sporting events, concerts and more.

Why take the CERT training?

Local government prepares for everyday emergencies. However, there can be an emergency or disaster that can overwhelm the community's immediate response capability. While adjacent jurisdictions, State and Federal resources can activate to help, there may be a delay for them getting to those who need them. The primary reason for CERT training is to give people the decision-making, organizational, and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors, and associates while waiting for help. While people will respond to others in need without the training, the goal of the CERT program is to help people do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.

Who can become a CERT Member

  • To become a CERT member you must be at least 18 years of age and possess a valid driver’s license.                                          
  • Adults of any age or ability can participate. Everyone is invited to learn how to deal with disasters correctly.
  • Members of the community, religious organizations, school staff, neighborhood watch, and other groups or individuals are encouraged to participate.

Fire SuppressionCERT training classes are taught by firefighters, paramedics and specialists in the areas of disaster preparedness, response and terrorism. The trainers will teach citizens how to help their families, their neighborhoods, their districts, and ultimately the entire community in an emergency situation.

Persons requiring special accommodations are asked to notify the Fullerton Fire Department staff at the time of registration.