Divisions & Units


Community Emergency Response Team

CERT is a training program that prepares you to help yourself, your family and your neighbors in the event of a disaster. During an incident, emergency service personnel may not be able to reach everyone right away. By getting trained in CERT, you will have the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property.

As a member of a CERT team, you can respond to disasters, participate in drills and exercises, and take additional training. CERT teams are known and trusted resources to emergency responders and their communities.

What do CERT teams do in an emergency?

Under the direction of local emergency responders, CERT teams help provide critical support by giving immediate assistance to victims, providing damage assessment information, and organizing other volunteers at a disaster site. Volunteers trained in CERT also offer a potential workforce for performing duties such as shelter support, crowd control, and evacuation. The role of a CERT volunteer is to help others until trained emergency personnel arrive.

How does CERT help the community?

In addition to supporting emergency responders during a disaster, the CERT program builds strong working relationships between emergency responders and the people they serve. CERT teams also help the community year-round by helping with community emergency plans, neighborhood exercises, preparedness outreach, fire safety education, and workplace safety.

Benefits of CERT training:

CERT training takes about 20 hours to complete and provides critical skills in emergency preparedness and response.

Participants learn how to:

  • Identify and anticipate hazards
  • Reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace
  • Extinguish small fires
  • Assist emergency responders
  • Conduct light search and rescue
  • Set up medical treatment areas
  • Apply basic medical techniques
  • Help reduce survivor stress

Who Should take CERT training?

  • People interested in taking an active role in hometown preparedness
  • Neighborhood Watch groups
  • Community leaders
  • Parents
  • Communities of faith
  • Scouting and youth organizations
  • Students, teachers, and administrators
  • Members of clubs and civic organizations

CERT is an integral part of Citizen Corps, the grass-roots movement that actively involves everyone in making our communities and our nation safer, stronger, and better prepared. To learn more about CERT and other Citizen Corps programs, visit www.citizencorps.gov.