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Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)


The Administration of Justice Department is offering a noncredit, tuition-free course: Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) this Fall 2024!


What is CERT?

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. The concept became a national program in 1993. CERT programing offers a consistent, nationwide approach to natural disaster volunteer training. CERT team members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following a disaster when first responders are not immediately available to help.


Course Offerings for Fall 2024

Prerequisite: None Course Credit Recommendation:

Non-Credit Description: The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is consistent with a nationwide approach designed for individuals and businesses to understand the hazards that may impact their home, community, and workplace in the event of a disaster. Recognized and supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and professional first responders, this training equips individuals with the knowledge and skills that will educated them in disaster preparedness at home, in the community, or the workplace, and be more resilient when an incident occurs. Emergency response training to support and enhance your community and workplace will be provided through team building, collaboration, and other hands-on activities. (Pass/No Pass)

Required Course

  • ADJ-801-38232 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), In-Person
    Four meeting dates only
    Tuesday, 10/22, 5:30pm-9:30pm in STEM 301
    Saturday, 10/26, 8:00am-5:00pm in STEM 302
    Tuesday, 10/29, 5:30pm-9:30pm in STEM 301
    Saturday, 11/02, 8:00am-4:00pm in STEM 302, STEM 200, & STEM 201

To view the full Administration of Justice program page, click here.

To view the full Class Schedule, click here.


How Do I Get Started?

Disasters are unexpected by nature, which is why it is important to have an emergency plan long before a disaster strikes. By creating a strategy and organizing resources ahead of time, you and your community can reduce the confusion and chaos during an actual emergency. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) the National Fire Academy, and the California Office of Emergency Management recognize the importance of CERT programs to assist professional responders following a disaster.

CERT participants will learn to: Identify and demonstrate the principal goals of the CERT program including roles, responsibilities, and diversity implications. Develop tools to be successfully prepared and more resilient when incidents/disasters occur. Demonstrate higher-order thinking skills about disaster issues, problems, and possible solutions. Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents. Demonstrate skills of working together as a team.

People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or workplace. If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, CERT members can apply the training learned in the classroom and during exercises to give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until help arrives. Through training, citizens can manage and organize themselves effectively “when" the next disaster hits.

The purpose of CERT is to act as a “force multiplier" in the event of a disaster. CERTS provide support while professional emergency responders focus on more dangerous, skilled, and critical assignments. In the event of a major disaster, first responders (fire, police, EMS) will be overwhelmed and will not be able to meet community service demands during the first 96 hours of the event. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate lifesaving and life sustaining needs. CERT is about readiness, people helping people, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference.