Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
ARES membership is not required to be a part of a CERT team, nor do you have to have an Amateur Radio license.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps to train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies occur, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community..
The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985. FEMA made this training available nationally in 1993. Since this time, CERT programs have been established in more than 340 communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico. In addition, the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and the National Fire Academy has adopted and expanded the CERT materials.
The CERT training program is approximately 20-hours, typically delivered over a seven-week period. Training sessions cover disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, and team operations. The training also includes a disaster simulation in which participants practice skills they learned throughout the course. The CERT course is taught in the community by a trained team of first responders who have completed a CERT Train-the-Trainer course conducted by their state training office for emergency management, or FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute, located in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
CERT teams remain active in the community before a disaster strikes, sponsoring events such as drills, neighborhood clean up, and disaster education fairs. Trainers offer periodic refresher sessions to CERT members to reinforce their basic training and to keep participants involved and practiced in their skills.
CERT is a vital component of Citizen Corps, President Bush’s community-based initiative to engage citizens in homeland security and community and family preparedness through public education and outreach, training opportunities, and volunteer service.
If you are interested in CERT please contact Medina County EMA at 330-722-9240, Program Manager Matt Sturgeon