If you are interested in joining the CERT Team or want information on upcoming classes, please click the link below to send an email to the CERT Coordinator.
Chris Parnell CERT Coordinator
The Stanislaus County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is designed to prepare residents for a disaster event. This 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. Furthermore, 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 government employees.
The training program that LAFD initiated makes good sense and furthers the process of citizens understanding their responsibility in preparing for a 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 hazards.
The Stanislaus County CERT course will benefit any who participates. Those citizens will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Additionally, these civilians can be recruited and trained as neighborhood, business, and government teams that, in essence, will be auxiliary responders. Following a major disaster, the first responders who provide fire and medical services may not be able to meet the demand of the services requested. Several factors such as number of victims, communication failures, and road closures/blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services that they have come to expect at a moment's notice through 911. The CERT team can assist people to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs.
It is also expected that under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other. This was the case following the Mexico City earthquake where untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. However, 100 people lost their lives while attempting to save others. This is a high price to pay and may be preventable through training.
The Stanislaus County CERT Program educates civilians about disaster preparedness and the hazards that may impact their neighborhood. It will train them in basic disaster response skills needed.
Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood and/or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members are also encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
The CERT members can provide immediate assistance 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. Since 1993 when the CERT team training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in 28 States and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is a program designed to prepare residents of Stanislaus County to help themselves, their families and neighbors. The training covers basic skills that are important to know in a disaster when emergency services are not available. Formerly known as Neighborhood Disaster Preparedness Training, the CERT program is free to all citizens of Stanislaus County and surrounding cities.
CERT members receive training in earthquake awareness, disaster fire suppression techniques, disaster medical operations, first aid/CPR, light search and rescue as well as team organization and management. CERT Training culminates with a disaster simulation and comprehensive course review. All classes are taught by trained emergency personnel, including firefighters and emergency medical services personnel, with an emphasis on hands-on practice.
Following a disaster, CERT teams can extinguish small fires, turn off gas inlets to damaged homes, perform light search and rescue and render basic first aid. The CERT program provides an effective response capability.
Free CERT training classes are conducted throughout the year, and have been taught in languages other than English.