Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
What is CERT?
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference. Through training, citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims safely; and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.
The CERT program helps train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies happen, 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 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 (EMI), located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. CERT training includes disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, and light search and rescue operations.
Over the next two years, the CERT program aims to double the number of participants, with over 400,000 individuals completing the 20 plus hours of training. Train-the-Trainer sessions will be held in all 56 states and territories over the next year to expand the program throughout the United States.
The Woodland CERT Team graduated its first members in June 2004. Depending on community recruitment response, we hope to have a basic CERT Team Training at least once a quarter.
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