Community Emergency Response Teams

Are you interested in volunteering your time and energy to make your community a safer place? Many people who want to participate in community-wide disaster preparedness either join or start a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Even if your day job doesn’t consist of working in the EMS world, you can get trained to become a vital member of your community by getting certified through the CERT program.

What are Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)?

One of five partners of Citizen Corps, CERT is part of a national network to provide better outcomes for manmade and natural disasters. CERT volunteer programs are run by FEMA to equip you with the tools and knowledge to get through disasters that strike your community. This nationwide training ensures consistency that allows local professional EMS personnel, like EMTs and paramedics, to have a reliable team working on the basics while they can focus on the more complicated issues that arise.

With local and state managers of the program, your training will be tailored to suit your individual community. If your neighborhood doesn’t have a CERT program yet, you can get one started and join the over 2,700 teams nationwide. With realistic hands-on training, you will be supplied with the means to respond, organize and promote disaster preparedness in your community.

How citizens can join their Community Emergency Response Teams

If you decide to become a team member of your local CERT, you will be trained by local first responders for classes covering the following topics:

  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Fire Suppression
  • Medical Operations Part 1
  • Medical Operations Part 2
  • Light Search and Rescue Operations
  • Psychology and Team Organization
  • Course Review and Disaster Simulation

After taking these courses you and your team members can take a refresher course titled FEMA IS-317: Introduction to CERT, which is online. Make sure to check out Ready for more information on materials and class descriptions.

Citizen Emergency Response Teams PRO tip:

If you are still looking for ways to improve your knowledge and skills, come join us at EMS PRO Expo, where you can network and learn alongside the best EMS personnel in the country. Each year you can take refresher courses or engage in learning new techniques at EMS convention at Mohegan Sun near Norwich, Connecticut. You can experience classes like:

  • Just a Small Disaster: MCI Exercises in Miniature: This class involves using miniatures to plan out disaster strategies for communities.
  • Medical Preparedness and Response to Dynamic Incidents (MPaRDI): Teaching foundational knowledge and hands-on skills needed during dynamic incidents.
  • Stop the Bleed: Turning Well-Intentioned Citizens into Force Multipliers: Discussion on how people first on the scene can greatly improve chances of survival for victims.

Those classes and so many more are available for attendees of our annual gathering. Join us at EMS PRO Expo in making tomorrow a safer place.

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