Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
What Is CERT?
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training teaches emergency preparedness and disaster response skills to regular people. CERT trained residents can safely help themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods during major emergencies where first responders may be delayed.
Why is CERT training important?
People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community. They can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards.
If a disaster overwhelms the local response capability, CERT trained residents can provide critical support to those in their immediate area until help arrives. Once professional responders arrive, CERT trained residents can provide useful information and support their efforts, as directed.
What does the CERT course teach?
The training combines 20 hours of classroom learning with hands-on training. It’s taught by experienced instructors from the Sammamish Office of Emergency Management, Eastside Fire and Rescue, CERT volunteer instructors, and more.
Preparedness and life safety skills covered include:
- Disaster preparedness
- Light search and rescue techniques
- Disaster medicine
- Fire suppression
- Lifting and cribbing
A realistic, half-day field training exercise concludes the course. This allows students to put all their new skills to use responding to a simulated disaster.
What are the benefits of CERT training?
The CERT course will benefit anyone who takes it. Trained individuals are better prepared to respond to and cope with disasters.
After a disaster, the community may supplement its response capability with auxiliary civilian responders. Civilian neighborhood and business teams can support response efforts and organize spontaneous volunteers without training. They can provide immediate assistance to victims in their area. Information they collect can help professional responders prioritize and allocate resources following a disaster.
Frequently Asked Questions
Basic CERT courses are normally held twice a year, a Spring cohort and a Fall cohort.
Note that there will be an exercise/drill at a time to be determined after completion of the last class. If a class must be skipped, there are make up opportunities at lessons in surrounding communities.
Classes will be located at Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 82, 1851 228th Ave NE, Sammamish, WA 98074, unless otherwise specified.
All people 18 years or older who live or work in the City of Sammamish are eligible for CERT training. People of all abilities are welcome to participate.
Basic CERT training is only $35.00.
Basic CERT graduates receive a backpack filled with disaster response and personal protective equipment. This includes a helmet, reflective vest, and other emergency response equipment.
Continued Training - Sammamish Advanced CERT
The City of Sammamish’s Advanced CERT (ACERT) Program is available to individuals who have completed the 20-hour Basic CERT course. The advanced program allows individuals to broaden their training and experience.
How are ACERT volunteers different than CERT members?
ACERT volunteers are authorized to assist the City in a variety of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery functions. They are held to specific training and credentialing standards, and must pass a City of Sammamish background check.
Program administrators maintain records of additional training. When these skills are needed in the community, they may call upon ACERT members.
What additional training is provided?
Throughout the year, ACERT members can also learn new skills, take refresher courses, and participate in additional training exercises. Classes available to ACERT members include:
- Shelter management
- Debris removal
- Post-disaster damage assessments
- Advanced first aid
- Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) use
- Emergency communications
- And more
How else can ACERT members help?
ACERT members can also volunteer to support the program. They can help run outreach and community safety events and take leadership positions. Volunteers are also needed to produce a newsletter and perform administrative work.
Email ACERT@sammamish.us for more information on CERT training or how to become involved in the Sammamish ACERT program.