The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact our 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.

“Doing the greatest good, for the greatest number of people.”

CERT History

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 once it was adopted by FEMA. 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.

When are CERTs utilized?

CERTs respond:

  • In the period immediately after a disaster when response resources are overwhelmed or delayed
  • When requested in accordance with standard operating procedures (SOP) developed by the sponsoring organization (RCEMA) to assist emergency response personnel
  • In planned, nonemergency settings (e.g., special events)

CERT volunteers are not trained to perform all of the functions or respond to the same degree as professional responders. A CERT is a bridge to professional responders until they arrive.


Q. How much does this training cost?

A. This class/ training is free. There is an optional class for CPR certification that may cost money.

Q. What tools or equipment do I need?

A. None, upon completion of the course, tools and gear will be supplied to you.

Q. When is the next class?

A. The next training class will be October 13th at 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM EST . Click here to download the class flyer.

Q. How long is the class?

A. The CERT basic training program generally runs for one night a week, for six weeks.

Ready to join the Russell County CERT Program?

By submitting your information below, you agree to be contacted by someone from the RCEMA once a class is scheduled. You can also call our office directly to be notified of training.  (334) 291-5079

For More Information visit https://www.ready.gov/cert

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