CERT

Community Emergency Response Team

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. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

We have learned, like many communities across this nation, having a safe resilient place to live is a basic necessity. The responsibility to assure us we live in a place that can rebound from any disaster resides here in the local community. As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to wind down, communities are reviewing the need to be resilient. Unfortunately, in a disaster, complex social and economic systems built for a more relaxed, slow paced, non-emergency situation, quickly collapse under the weight of a large-scale crisis. School systems, supply chains, hospitals, grocery stores and even workplaces were not prepared to respond with the same sense of urgency needed to save lives and survive.

Fire Suppression Training

Transport Injured

Classroom Training

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CERT Training

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a program that educates community members about disaster preparedness for hazards that could affect their area and trains them in basic response skills - including fire safety, search and rescue, and medical operations.

Trained CERT volunteers can help others in their community or workplace following a disaster, particularly when professional emergency responders are not immediately available.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class consists of 24 hours of education, culminating in a final drill.

Course description

The series of courses provide a variety of Emergency Response knowledge and insight:

  • Unit 1: Disaster Preparedness, Local Hazards, Hazard Mitigation

  • Unit 2: CERT Organization Overview

  • Unit 3: Disaster Medical Operations, Part 1- Basic First Aid Care

  • Unit 4: Disaster Medical Operations, Part 2- Mass Casualty Incidents

  • Unit 5: Disaster Psychology

  • Unit 6: Fire Safety, Fire Suppression, Utility Controls

  • Unit 7: Light Search and Rescue Operations

  • Unit 8: Terrorism

  • Unit 9: Review, Final Exam and Disaster Simulation

The training also includes a disaster simulation in which participants practice skills that they learned throughout the course. The CERT course is taught in the community by a trained team of first responders who have completed a CERT Train-the-Trainer course conducted by the state training office for emergency management, or FEMA's Emergency Management Institute, located in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Residents as well as business owners are encouraged to participate or send employees to these emergency preparedness classes.

Requirements

Participants must attend all sessions, obtain personal safety equipment and be a willing team participant. Participants are advised to bring their own personal safety equipment to ensure proper fit. The basic equipment information and their sources will be explained at the first class.

About CERT

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies occur, CERT members can be the first on scene to provide aid and support, as professionals arrive, CERT members give critical support to first responders, as well as provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community.

CERT became a national program in 1993. There are now CERT programs in all 50 states, including many tribal nations and U.S. territories. Each is unique to its community, and all are essential to building a culture of preparedness in the United States. There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide and more than 600,000 people have been trained since CERT became a national program.


Please join us as we organize and coordinate the development of neighborhood CERT teams. If you have been trained and involved with a CERT program elsewhere your skills would be an incredible asset to our team. The training and equipment are provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Do you live in or near Maltby, Clearview, Cathcart, Echo Lake, Lost Lake, High Bridge, Paradise Valley, or Mount Forest in Unincorporated Snohomish County? Please contact us as this program is expanding to cover all areas in this corner of the county.

Contact Us

If you would like to be involved and/or trained to respond, please contact; president@echolakecommunity.org

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Earthquake Response

Team Coordination

Injury Assessment

CERT History

CERT became a national program in 1993. There are now CERT programs in all 50 states, including many tribal nations and U.S. territories. Each is unique to its community, and all are essential to building a Culture of Preparedness in the United States. There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide and more than 600,000 people have trained since CERT became a national program. CERT trains residents in many different aspects of basic emergency response. It also allows CERT teams to be trained in advance programs unique to the area they live in.

Current Program

We have engaged with South County Fire and Rescue (Fire Department), Washington State and FEMA. The federal, state and county relationships have been established and leadership training has begun. This is a huge step for our community, providing emergency services during and following local disasters.

Do you live in or near Maltby, Clearview, Cathcart, Echo Lake, Lost Lake, High Bridge, Paradise Valley, Mount Forest, or Ridgeview Trails in Unincorporated Snohomish County? Please contact us as this program is expanding to cover all areas in this corner of the county.

Why is CERT becoming critical?

The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department 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.

CERT became a national program in 1993. There are now CERT programs in all 50 states, including many tribal nations and U.S. territories. Each is unique to its community and all are essential to building a Culture of Preparedness in the United States. There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide and more than 600,000 people have trained since CERT became a national program. CERT trains residents in many different aspects of basic emergency response. It also allows CERT teams to be trained in advance programs unique to the area they live in.

Locally, CERT programs benefit the social and economic dimensions of the community. It boosts the community’s resiliency and ability to respond to emergencies; it is a reliable resource for emergency responders in non-emergency situations; improves home, school, and workplace preparedness; gets neighborhoods and workplaces involved with public safety. Regionally, CERT programs provide networks of collaboration and mutual aid between local CERT programs and supports emergency management and its partner agencies.

As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to wind down, communities across the nation have an opportunity to review lessons learned. Local communities that once represented social and economic safety nets for hundreds of years have outsourced that responsibility and, as the pandemic demonstrated, are no longer prepared to help their neighbors.

Unfortunately, in a disaster, complex social and economic systems built for a more relaxed, slow paced, non-emergency situation, quickly collapse under the weight of a large-scale crisis. School systems, supply chains, hospitals, grocery stores and even workplaces were not prepared to respond with the same sense of urgency needed to save lives and survive.

As we emerge from the pandemic, we have a whole new chapter to add to our book on preparing the community. Please join us as we organize and coordinate the development of neighborhood CERT teams. The training and equipment is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).


Staffing Plan (tenative)

CERT team composition and makeup is dynamic, however the number of available team members at any time is directly proportional to effectiveness. During planning and training the general team size is expected to be around ten. As one team grows to the point it can be divided into two teams while making geographic sense it would divide, making two teams. This plan is of course dynamic and dependent on many practical factors.

Most team members will have had identical training and therefore the tactical teams can be deployed as needed with available staff. A few members will have specialized training, allowing their skills to be put towards special assignments.