Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) Training

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) is based on a foundation of training modules that educates individuals about disaster preparedness for hazards that 5/impact their area, and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

The 23-hour basic CERT course utilizes material provided to CitizenCorps by FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute, augmented by material that is specific to the northwestern California region.  Continuing education is an important part of the program. 

Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their community, tribe, neighborhood or workplace following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help. More on CERT

COST FOR 23-HOUR TRAINING: Varies** ($150 value)
(*Discounts on fees 5/be provided by a contribution from California Volunteers)

Persons who complete the full course receive a CERT hard hat, reflective vest, leather work gloves, goggles, a dust mask, and flashlight in a backpack.


Start Date End Date Time Location To register
Fri. 9/27 Sun. 9/29 all day Fortuna CERT Call 707-725-5021 for registration information.
Fri. 11/22 Sun. 11/24 all day McKineyville CERT Call 707-499-0754 for registration information.

CERT Module Details

1. Disaster Preparedness

  • Addresses hazards to which people are vulnerable in their communities.
  • Provides materials covering actions participants and their families should take before, during and after a disaster.
  • Discusses the expanded response role for civilians as disaster workers and the applicable laws governing volunteers.
  • Customized for expected Northern California natural and manmade disasters

2. Disaster Fire Safety

  • Briefly covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards and fire suppression strategies.
  • Teaches the safe use of fire extinguishers, sizing up the situation, controlling utilities, and extinguishing a small fire.

3. Disaster Medical Ops, Part 1

  • Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.

4. Disaster Medical Ops, Part 2

  • Covers evaluating patients by doing a head-to-toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area, performing basic first aid, and practicing in a safe manner.

5. Light Search and Rescue Ops

  • Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, and most importantly, rescuer safety.

6. Team Organization

  • Addresses CERT organization and management principles, plus the need for documentation.

7. Disaster Psychology

  • Covers signs and symptoms of stress or trauma that might be experienced by the disaster victim and worker.

8. Terrorism and CERT

  • Defines terrorist goals, weapons and risks posed by various threats. Identifies cues when a terrorist attack 5/be imminent.

9. Course Review and Disaster Simulation

  • Participants review their answers from a take-home examination, and
  • Practice the skills that they have learned during the previous eight sessions by participating in a short drill.