Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
"We will find ways to train and mobilize more volunteers to help when rescue and health emergencies arise."
– President George W. Bush
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps train volunteers to assist first responders in emergency situations in their communities. CERT members give critical support to first responders in emergencies, provide immediate assistance to victims, organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site, and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts. The role of a CERT volunteer is self-help/neighbor-help until such time as trained first–response personnel arrive.
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, located in Emmetsburg, Maryland. Training of CERT volunteers consists of 20 hours of instruction on topics that include disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, and light search and rescue operations.
Training Info & Course Topics:
Session I: Disaster Preparedness
Session II: Fire Suppression
Session III: Disaster Medical Operations -Triage and Life Threatening Injuries
Session IV: Disaster Medical Operations - Assessment, Treatment, and Hygiene
Session V: Light Search and Rescue
Session VI: Team Organization and Disaster Psychology
Session VII: Final Exercise
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, using the model created by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, began promoting nationwide use of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept in 1994. Since then, CERTs have been established in hundreds of communities.
CERT training promotes a partnering effort between emergency services and the people that they serve. The goal is for emergency personnel to train members of neighborhoods, community organizations, or workplaces in basic response skills. CERT members are then integrated into the emergency response capability for their area.
If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community’s professional response, CERT members can assist others by applying the basic response and organizational skills that they learned during training. These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives. CERT skills also apply to daily emergencies.
CERT members maintain and refine their skills by participating in exercises and activities. They can attend supplemental training opportunities offered by the sponsoring agency and others that further their skills base. Finally, CERT members can volunteer for projects that improve community emergency preparedness.
- Describe the types of hazards most likely to affect their homes and communities.
- Describe the function of CERT and their roles in immediate response.
- Take steps to prepare themselves for a disaster.
- Identify and reduce potential fire hazards in their homes and workplaces.
- Work as a team to apply basic fire suppression strategies, resources, and safety measures to extinguish a burning liquid.
- Apply techniques for opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating shock.
- Conduct triage under simulated conditions.
- Perform head-to-toe assessments.
- Select and set-up a treatment area.
- Employ basic treatments for various wounds.
- Identify planning and size-up requirements for potential search and rescue situations.
- Describe the most common techniques for searching a structure.
- Use safe techniques for debris removal and victim extrication.
- Describe ways to protect rescuers during search and rescue.
Guam CERT Partners:
- Serve Guam Commission & AmeriCorps, Guam
- Guam Hotel Restaurant Association (GHRA)
CERT Target Groups:
- Communities of Faith
- Scouting Organizations
- School Staff/Students
- Amateur Radio Emergency Services