COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM
In June 2003, the Los Angeles County Fire Department began offering the FEMA-approved 20 hour CERT training curriculum to the cities and communities we serve. The program operates from the Public Affairs Section under the direction of a fire captain who serves as the Department CERT coordinator.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community
While the Fire Department provides this training to the citizens, it is important to note that CERT volunteers do not work for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Volunteers are registered with their respective cities, unincorporated areas or local law enforcement agencies. In the event of a disaster, these volunteers will have the skills and tools necessary to take care of themselves, their families, their neighbors and coworkers. Some volunteers become part of the disaster plan for local authorities. Upon activation of an Emergency Operations Center, a city representative, a Fire Department liaison or law enforcement liaison will contact CERT volunteers and provide direction about how those volunteers will be utilized.
The CERT training is offered free of charge and participants have no obligation or commitment to respond or act in the event of a disaster.
The curriculum of the CERT Program is as follows:
Within the Los Angeles County Fire Department's service area, the following cities and unincorporated areas currently have CERT Programs: Acton, Agoura, Calabasas, Carson, Cerritos, Hidden Hills, Inglewood, La Canada/Flintridge, La Cresenta, Leona Valley, Malibu, Palos Verdes Estates, Pico Rivera, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Santa Clarita, Topanga, West Hollywood, and Westlake Village.