What If This Happened to You?

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member training is designed to prepare the participants to help themselves and their families, then their neighbors in the event of acatastrophic disaster when professional emergency service may be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the event.  An event might last up to 72 hours following a disaster when damaged roads, disrupted communications, overwhelmed call centers, for example, may restrict access by local police, fire and emergency medical services. The purpose of CERT training is to provide citizens with the basic skills that they will need to handle their own needs and then to respond to their communities’ needs in the aftermath of a disaster.

What Does the Course Involve?

A typical CERT course consists of 20 hours of training, usually conducted over two weekends.  Classes are taught by trained emergency personnel, including firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMS and Emergency Management professionals.

Course Agenda

Session 1

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS Introduction to disasters, impact of disasters on infrastructures, hazards posed by buildings and nonstructural items, the role of CERTs in disaster response.

Session 2

DISASTER FIRE SUPPRESSION Identifying and reducing potential fire hazards, basic fire suppression strategy, firefighting resources, firefighting techniques.

Session 3

DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS - PART 1 Treatment strategies for life threatening conditions and principles of triage.

Session 4

DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS - PART 2 Head to toe assessments, treatment for head wounds, treatment for fractures, sprains, burns and other injuries.

Session 5

LIGHT SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS Search and rescue priorities and resources, techniques for size up and search, lifting, cribbing and removing victims, rescuer safety.

Session 6

DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY AND TEAM ORGANIZATION The post-disaster emotional environment, the Incident Command System, CERT Strategies, tactics, and documentation.

Session 7


Additional and refresher training will be provided and is a condition of continued (CERT) Team membership.

The Objectives of the Course

Upon completion of this course, the participants will be able to:

  • Describe the types of hazards that are most likely to affect their homes and community.
  • Describe the function of CERT and their role in immediate response.
  • Take steps to prepare themselves for a disaster.
  • Identify and reduce potential fire hazards in their home or workplace.
  • While working as a team, apply basic fire suppression strategies, resources, and safety measures to extinguish a burning liquid.
  • Apply techniques for opening airways, controlling bleeding and treating for shock.
  • Conduct triage under simulated disaster conditions.
  • Perform head to toe assessments.
  • Select and set up a treatment area.
  • Employ basic treatments for various wounds, and apply splints to suspected fractures and sprains.
  • Identify planning and size up requirements for potential search and rescue situations.
  • Describe the most common techniques for searching a structure.
  • Use safe techniques for debris removal and victim extrication.
  • Describe ways to protect rescuers during search and rescue.

The target audiences for CERT training are private citizens, businesses, and schools that desire the skills and knowledge required to prepare for and respond to a disaster.

Contact Information

45 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-1300
(800) 347-0488
(802) 244-8721
(888) 545-7598 (TTY)

Information and Public Records Requests

Click here for public records database

Connect With Us

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Instagram icon
RSS icon
YouTube icon