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Community Emergency Response Training (CERT)

Basic Training Overview


Disaster Preparedness

CERT Fire Safety PhotoAddresses hazards to which people are vulnerable in their community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during, and after a disaster. As the session progresses, the instructor begins to explore an expanded response role for civilians in that they should begin to consider themselves disaster workers. Since they will want to help their family members and neighbors, this training can help them operate in a safe and appropriate manner. The CERT concept and organization are discussed as well as applicable laws governing volunteers in that jurisdiction.

Fire Safety

CERT Classroom Medical Ops PhotoBriefly covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards, and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, sizing up the situation, controlling utilities, and extinguishing a small fire.

Disaster Medical Operations

Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.  Covers evaluating patients by doing a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area, performing basic first aid, and practicing in a safe and sanitary manner.

Light Search and Rescue Operations

CERT Search Markings PhotoParticipants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques, and most important, rescuer safety.

CERT Organization

Learn about the objectives of CERT, decision making, and documentation. CERT Organization is based on the Incident Command System (ICS).   ICS is a flexible and scalable response organizational framework designed to improve emergency response operations.  This class is an introduction to the system and to how it can be utilized in your neighborhood to improve and organize teamwork in a disaster situation. 

Disaster Psychology

Covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and worker. Participants learn about disaster-related emotional reactions.  


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Fire Department, 2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
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