The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may 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. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
CERT requires a partnership between community members and local government, emergency management and response agencies. Local CERT programs should be sponsored by a local government agency that deals with emergency services. In most communities, the local fire department fills this role, but local law enforcement agencies and local emergency management agencies also sponsor CERT. In most cases, sponsorship includes all aspects of the program—funding and administration, conducting training, organizing the teams, setting policy for how team members will be activated, etc.
Note that Teen CERT training and Campus CERT training may be sponsored by the high school or college/university that conducts the training. In these cases, it is important that Teen CERT and Campus CERT training is endorsed by and conducted in partnership with a local government agency such as the fire department. It is critical that emergency services personnel are aware of all CERT volunteers who are being trained so that they expect CERTs that may be active on scene in any emergency.
In some cases, the responsibility for conducting the CERT training and other program functions may be funded by local government but managed by a local non-profit organization. In these cases, the local government agency that funds the program is the program sponsor.
There are currently twenty four jurisdictions supporting CERT Programs within the County. They are: County of Riverside, City of Beaumont, City of Blythe, Cathedral City, City of Canyon Lake, City of Coachella, City of Corona, City of Desert Hot Springs, City of Hemet, City of Idyllwild, City of Indio, City of La Quinta, City of Lake Elsinore, City of Menifee, City of Moreno Valley, City of Murrieta, City of Palm Desert, City Palm Springs, City of Rancho Mirage, City of Riverside, City of San Jacinto, City of Temecula, City of Wildomar.
Citizen Corps Councils have been established in the City of Temecula, City of Lake Elsinore and the City of
The CERT training is usually delivered over 3 consecutive days. The class time commitment is a total of 20 hours.
The training consists of the following:
Module 1: DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Addresses hazards to which people are vulnerable in their community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during, and after a disaster.
Module 2: FIRE SAFETY AND UTILITY CONTROLS: Briefly covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards, and fire suppression strategies; the safe use of fire extinguishers, sizing up the situation, controlling utilities, and hands-on exercise of how to extinguish a small fire.
Module 3: DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS PART I: Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.
Module 4: DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS, PART II: Covers evaluating patients by doing a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area, performing basic first aid, and practicing in a safe and sanitary manner.
Module 5: LIGHT SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS: Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques, and most important, rescuer safety.
Module 6: CERT ORGANIZATION: Covers how to organize and use resources according to organizational principles. Documentation strategies for documenting situation and resource status.
Module 7: DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY: Discuss the psychological impact of a disaster on rescuers and victims and how to provide "psychological first aid" Steps one can take individually and as part of a CERT before, immediately following, and after a disaster.
Module 8: TERRORISM AND CERT: The definition of terrorism and terrorist goals. Ways to prepare for a terrorist incident.
FINAL COURSE REVIEW AND DISASTER SIMULATION: Participants review and practice the skills that they have learned during the previous eight modules.
To register for COUNTY sponsored CERT Classes or to get more information about classes in your area call:
(951) 955-4700 Mon - Thurs. 7am - 5:30pm or register on the TRAINING page.
For information regarding a local city class, please refer to our CALENDAR section