What is CERT?
Local government prepares for everyday emergencies. However, during a disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency services. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is a free valuable course designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation.
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, and workplaces in basic response skills. CERT members are then integrated into emergency response capability for their area.
CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens may initially be on their own and their actions can make a difference. CERT members can assist others by applying the basic response and organizational skills that they learn during training. These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives. CERT skills also apply to daily emergencies.
While people will respond to others in need without the training, one goal of the CERT program is to help them to do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.
As an example, in September of 1985, a Los Angeles City investigation team was sent to Mexico City following an earthquake there that registered a magnitude 8.1 on the Richter scale and killed more than 10,000 people and injured more than 30,000. Mexico City had no training program for citizens prior to the disaster. However, large groups of volunteers organized themselves and performed light search and rescue operations. Volunteers are credited with more than 800 successful rescues; unfortunately, more than 100 of these untrained volunteers died during the 15-day rescue operation.
The lessons learned in Mexico City strongly indicated that a plan to train volunteers to help themselves and others, and become an adjunct to government response, was needed as an essential part of overall preparedness, survival, and recovery.
Why do we need CERT training?
Well, it’s like paying for car insurance. You might never need either; you’d hope not to. But if the occasion arises, having the CERT training, just like having car insurance, means you’re as ready as you can be to help yourself, your family and your neighborhood.
Training is designed to cover the following:
- Disaster preparedness
- Fire Safety
- Disaster Medical Operations – Triage and treating life threatening injuries
- Disaster Medical Operations – Assessment, treatment, and hygiene
- Light search and rescue
- Team organization
- Disaster Psychology
- Terrorism and CERT
- Final Exercise