Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
What is CERT?
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
The CERT program is a consistent, nationwide, all-hazards approach to volunteer training that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations. Since its inception, CERT has grown to include over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide, with more than 600,000 individuals trained.
The Baltimore City CERT program offers trainings throughout the year. Learn how to join below.
How did CERT start?
The CERT concept was first developed by the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985 to respond to earthquakes. They recognized that responses were often delayed in the early stages of a disaster and that citizens may be without assistance for prolonged periods of time. They created a training program covering basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations, so that citizens would be better able to safely help themselves, their families, and their neighbors until assistance could arrive.
In 1993, CERT training was standardized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for all hazards. CERT now exists nationwide, and individuals who take the class are better prepared to respond to and cope with disasters. Furthermore, CERT teams can supplement professional responders following a disaster by providing immediate assistance to victims in their communities.
The Baltimore City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) provides basic CERT training to Baltimore City citizens free of charge throughout the year.
CERT training is delivered over a period of three days, typically following the schedule below:
Thursday – 6:30-9:00 PM
Friday – 6:30-9:00 PM
Saturday – 10:30 AM-2:00 PM
Would you like to sign up for a CERT training? If so, then please click here to view the schedule and sign up.