WHY TAKE CERT TRAINING?
Disasters can strike anywhere and anytime. Basic safety and disaster skills can mean the crucial difference between life and death.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps train and equip citizens to be better prepared to help themselves and their neighbors in the event of a disaster, crisis or common emergency and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, which allows them to focus on more complex tasks. Through CERT, the capabilities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters is built and enhanced.
ASSISTANCE DURING A MAJOR DISASTER
In a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will most likely be overloaded by the high demand for their services. Factors such as number of victims, severity of situation, communication failures, and road blockages will prevent people from getting the emergency services support that they would normally get by calling 911.
People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life-saving and life-sustaining needs. One also expects that under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other.
The CERT program was designed as a grassroots initiative and specifically structured so that the local and state program managers have the flexibility to form their programs in the way that best suits their communities. CERT volunteers are trained to respond safely, responsibly, and effectively to emergency situations, but they can also support their communities during non-emergency events as well. Since 1993 when this training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training. FEMA supports CERT by conducting or sponsoring Train-the-Trainer and Program Manager courses for members of the fire, medical and emergency management community. There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide, with more than 600,000 individuals trained since CERT became a national program.