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Emergency Preparedness

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training

Disasters are major events that can strike anywhere and at any time. In a disaster, traditional “911” and First Responder capabilities such as fire, police, paramedics, and utility personnel will be overwhelmed and unable to immediately assist individuals. Professional emergency response may be delayed for hours, even days. Of necessity, it is important for the community to assist first responders in their neighborhood. Preparing individuals and residents is vital in community preparedness and resiliency. Neighbors that are prepared are more effective in their response to a disaster and have increased capacity to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours after a disaster. ACFD CERT Overview.pdf (PDF - 209 kb)*

  1. What is CERT?
  2. Why Do We Need CERT?
  3. Who teaches CERT?
  4. Who can be a CERT member?
  1. What is CERT?

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began promoting nationwide use of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept in 1994 from the model created by the Los Angeles City Fire Department. Since then, CERT programs have been established in hundreds of communities nationwide. The purpose of CERT is to train people living in Alameda County to take care of themselves, their families and their neighbors in the event of a disaster.

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  2. Why Do We Need CERT?

    After several large scale disasters such as 9/11, the Oakland Hills Fire and the Loma Prieta earthquake, there was a realization that not all emergency services personnel will be able to reach everyone right away. By attending CERT training classes, you will learn the skills to help save lives and protect property. As a CERT team member, you can participate in disaster drills and exercises and help your community that you live in by volunteering.

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  3. Who teaches CERT?

    CERT members are taught by Alameda County Fire Department personnel and its Reserves. CERT members are taught basic fire suppression, utility control, light search and rescue, triage and shock treatment. Other topics include putting together your own disaster kit, disaster psychology and disaster incident management. The training involves attending all six evening sessions for a total of ~20 hours. The training format is lectures, interactive skills based training and it concludes with a hands-on exercise to practice the skills that were just learned.

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  4. Who can be a CERT member?

    Anyone who is at least 18 years of age or older can participate. CERT is ideal for organized community groups such as Neighborhood Watch, homeowner’s associations, community based organizations, civic or advocacy groups, condominium owners and dense urban housing complex residents.

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To find out more information about how you or your group can sign up for an upcoming CERT training, please contact Emergency Preparedness at (925) 833-3473 ext. 1721 or (510) 632-3473 ext. 1721 or via email at cert@acgov.org .

* Portable Document Format (PDF) file requires the free Adobe Reader.

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