Community Emergency Response Team training is aFederal Emergency Management Agency initiative that educates citizens about the hazards they face in their community and trains them in life safety and other emergency services skills. Following a disaster, these citizen-responders use their training as part of a neighborhood or workplace team to help others when emergency services providers areoverwhelmed or not immediately available. CERT members provide immediate assistance to victims in theirarea, organize other volunteers who have not had training, and collect disaster information that will assist emergency workers with prioritization and allocation of resources when they arrive.
Purpose of the Program
CERT promotes a partnership between emergency management, response agencies and the people in the community that they serve. The goal is to train members of neighborhoods and workplaces in basic skills. CERT teams are formed and maintained as part of the emergency response capability for their area. If there is a natural or man-made event that overwhelms or delays the community’s professional responders, CERT members can assist others by applying basic response and organizational skills they learned during their CERT training. These skills can help save lives and property until help arrives. CERT members can also volunteer for special projects that improve a community’s preparedness and response capability.
How CERT Works
The Basic CERT training program is a 20-hour course, typically delivered one evening a week over a 7 or 8 week period by local jurisdictions. The course is also offered by several community colleges as a credit and also as a non-credit course. Some programs with business oriented participants may offer the course over a 2 or 3 day period during business hours.
Training sessions cover disaster preparedness, fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology and team organization. There is also a new module on terrorism that educates CERT members about weapons of mass destruction and CRRNE Agents (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive). This session will help CERT members identify situations where these agents may have been used and protective actions that they should take.
Those communities interested in developing a CERT program should contact their county emergency management director/coordinator for more information. For those interested in training to become a CERT volunteer, please contact your local or county emergency management agency to verify availability of this opportunity in your local area as well as for training dates and locations.
Campus and Teen Programs
There are also programs available for Campus CERT, which applies the established CERT model to the college and university environment; as well as a Teen CERT program to assist others in their schools, neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. Visit the following links for more information on these programs:
TRAIN the TRAINER program
The CERT course is taught in the community by a trained team of emergency services providers who have completed a CERT Train-the-Trainer program course conducted by the Arizona Division of Emergency Management, or by attending the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI), located in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
This 2 1/2 day course prepares participants to teach the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course to volunteers at classes sponsored by their local jurisdiction. Course content, instructional methodology and administrative considerations for implementing the program are covered. Participants must be sponsored by their local jurisdiction, have successfully completed CERT basic training (20 hours) and be willing to instruct a minimum of 3 classes per year.
Agencies that wish to schedule a CERT Train-the-Trainer program must complete the CERT Train-the-Trainer Event Request, and submit to the County Emergency Manager/Director for coordination and approval.
Train the Trainer Student Registration
Registration involves a two step process to complete:
- STEP 1 - Complete CERT registration application, attach prerequisite proof of completion and forward to County Emergency Management offices for signature; if approved, EM office will fax to our training office
- STEP 2 - ERMA Registration on-Line at www.erma.az.gov. Follow directions after clicking “sign-in” in upper left hand corner of the homepage. Please note you will be waitlisted until notified of your acceptance into class.
For additional information on any of these CERT programs, please contact us for assistance.