The purpose of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is to provide the individuals who volunteer and complete the certification course with the basic skills they will need to respond to their community's immediate needs in the aftermath of a disaster, when emergency services are not immediately available. By effectively working together, CERT members can assist in saving lives and protecting property using the techniques learned in this course.
The CERT program can provide an effective first-response capability. Acting as individuals first, then later as members of teams, trained CERT volunteers can fan out with their assigned areas, extinguishing small fires, turning off natural gas at damaged homes, performing light search and rescue operations, and applying basic medical treatment.
CERT members come from neighborhood, workplace, or other community organizations. Members join because they want to learn how to better prepare for hazards that threaten their homes and communities. They want to protect their families, themselves, and their community.
The CERT program originated by training community members for the earthquake response operations. Under the FEMA, the CERT program has grown to cover all types of disasters in communities around the country.
As a CERT member, you will become an active participant in learning about hazards and preparing for them. After training, you may be called upon to support emergency services following a disaster.