Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), using the model created by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, began promoting nationwide use of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept in 1994. Since then, CERT's have been established in hundreds of communities.



CERT's Goal

CERT training promotes a partnering effort between emergency services and the people that they serve. The goal is for emergency personnel to train members of neighborhoods, community organizations, or workplaces in basic response skills. CERT members are then integrated into the emergency response capability for their area. If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community's professional response, CERT members can assist others by applying the basic response and organizational skills that they learned during training. These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives. CERT skills also apply to daily emergencies. CERT members maintain and refine their skills by participating in exercises and activities. They can attend supplemental training opportunities offered by the sponsoring agency and others that further their skills base. Finally, CERT members can volunteer for projects that improve community emergency preparedness.

Target Audience

CERT's target audience includes:

  • Amateur Radio Emergency Services
  • Businesses
  • Clubs/organizations
  • Communities of faith
  • Neighborhoods
  • School staff/students
  • Scouting organizations


CERT Training will teach participants to:

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

CERT Training sessions are designed to cover the following:

  • Disaster Medical Operations - Assessment, treatment and hygiene
  • Disaster Medical Operations - Triage and treating life threatening injuries
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Disaster psychology
  • Final exercise
  • Fire safety
  • Light search and rescue
  • Team organization
  • Terrorism and CERT

Get in Contact

Each session requires about two hours for completion. For more information about CERT teams, please visit the FEMA website. To obtain more information about CERT in the City of St. Charles, Missouri, please call 636-949-3250.