Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

CERT LogoThe 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:

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.

CERT Training

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.

For More Information

For more information about other CERT programs in Contra Costa County, please visit the Contra Costa CERT website.