Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), using the model created by the Los Angeles Fire Department, began
promoting nationwide use of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept in 1994. Since then, CERTs have been established in
hundreds of communities.
CERT training promotes a partnering effort between emergency services and the people they serve. The goal is for
emergency personnel to train members of neighborhoods, community organizations, or workplaces in basic response skills. This allows
these community members to help people effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger. Once trained,
CERT members are then integrated into the emergency response capability for their area.
It is important to remember that the best sources of help in emergencies are professional responders.
However, in situations where they are not immediately available, CERT training allows members of the community to safely assist
each other while waiting for help to arrive.
To learn more about the national CERT program, please visit the
Citizen Corps CERT website.
View a brief video overview of California's CERT programs:
Note: You must have Windows Media Player to view this video. Click on the icon below to download the latest version.
District CERT Role
The Contra Costa Community College District CERT program utilizes a team of specially-trained volunteer staff members to
supplement emergency services at all district campuses and facilities.
If a disaster occurs and local response resources are overwhelmed, CERT members are able to quickly provide the community
with critical support until professional help arrives. When help does arrive, CERT members provide useful information to responders and
support their efforts, as directed, at the emergency scene.
CERT members also provide assistance with non-emergency projects in an effort to improve the safety of the community.
Members of our district CERT conduct regular safety inspections of facilities, properly report or correct hazards, distribute emergency
preparedness materials, and provide services at special events, such as fairs and sporting events.
The basic 20-hour CERT training program follows nationwide Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards
and is endorsed by both the state and county Offices of Emergency Services.
CERT members receive training in:
- Disaster Preparedness
- Fire Safety
- Light Search and Rescue
- Disaster Medical Operations and Triage
- Disaster Psychology
- Team Organization
- Terrorism and CERT
Our district program is unique in that it incorporates several hours of additional training to help prepare team
members to meet the special challenges presented by a campus environment.
CERT Program Materials
CERT program materials and forms may be obtained through the following links:
- CERT Program Manual (PDF) (Coming Soon)
- CERT Field Operations Guide (PDF) (Coming Soon)
For More Information
For more information about other CERT programs in Contra Costa County, please visit the Contra Costa CERT website.
If you have questions or would like to receive more information about our district CERT program, please contact:
Officer Teddy M. Terstegge
Emergency Services Coordinator
Los Medanos College Station
2700 East Leland Road
Pittsburg, CA 94565
(925)439-2181 extension 3110