Community Emergency Response Team

What is CERT?

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 assassment information, and organizing other volunteers at a disaster site.  Volunteers trained in CERT also offer 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.  

The 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 survivior 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

In 95 Percent of all emergencies, the victim or bystander provides the first immediate assistance on the scene.

Would you know what to do?

A big part of our Emergency Operations’ Strategy is to be able to look after ourselves and our residents.  A key component to that strategy is having a fully staffed and trained volunteer force.  A Community Emergency Response Team (“CERT”) provides an excellent opportunity for residents to play an important role in helping to safeguard, prepare for and respond to major emergencies and disasters in our community.

For additional information on becoming a member of the CERT Team, please contact Chief Wes Smith at or (561) 964-1515, ext. 27.