to Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
The Community Emergency Response Team concept was developed and
implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985.
The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide
threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed
the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs. As
a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with
the purpose of training citizens and private and government employees.
The training program makes good sense and furthers the process of
citizens understanding their responsibility in preparing for disaster.
It also increases their ability to safely help themselves, their
family and their neighbors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) recognizes the importance of preparing citizens. The Emergency
Management Institute (EMI) and the National Fire Academy adopted
and expanded the CERT materials believing them applicable to all
CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it. This individual
will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath
of a disaster. Additionally, if a community wants to supplement
its response capability after a disaster, civilians can be recruited
and trained as neighborhood, business, and government teams that,
in essence, will be auxiliary responders. These groups can provide
immediate assistance to victims in their area, organize spontaneous
volunteers who have not had the training, and collect disaster
intelligence that will assist professional responders with prioritization
and allocation of resources following a disaster.
Basic level #1 CERT training is open to anyone who is interested
in Life Saving Skills, Disaster Preparedness, Fire Suppression,
Cribbing, Light Search & Rescue, Triage, and Head to Toe Assessment.
The class is a total of 21 hours that must be completed to receive
the FEMA Certificate of graduation. More info on training opportunities
can be obtained by visiting www.cert-la.com.
is designed to cover the following:
Medical Operations - Triage and Treating Life Threatening Injuries
Medical Operations - Assessment, Treatment, and Hygiene
Search and Rescue
Sessions require about 21 hours to complete
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is providing CERT Training
Courses in coordination with the Los Angeles County Fire Department
and the American Red Cross. For additional information, please contact
the Community Law Enforcement Partnership Programs Unit at 323-526-5015.
When participants have completed this training, it is important
to keep them involved and practiced in their skills. Trainers should
offer periodic refresher sessions to reinforce the basic training.
CERT teams can sponsor events such as drills, picnics, neighborhood
clean up, and disaster education fairs which will keep them involved
responders need to be educated about the CERT and their value to
the community. Using CERT as a component of the response system
when there are exercises for potential disasters can reinforce this
For more info on CERT from FEMA: