WHY IS CERT IMPORTANT?
LET’S FIRST DEFINE CERT. This is the Community Emergency Response Team. A citizen trained in the CERT program will learn light search and rescue, fire suppression, medical triage and care. Also, how to set up a staging area and work within the Incident Command System. This is just the basics. You can learn so much more. It was originally developed by the Los Angeles City Fire Department for a major earthquake in Southern California. During the 1994 earthquake, all available resources had been deployed within a matter of minutes. A true disaster. CERT defines a disaster as any event that overwhelms all available resources.
The concept behind CERT is simple – train as many members of the community as possible so that, in the event of a disaster, CERT can self-mobilize to first check on their families, then their neighbors, then move to a staging area to begin rescue operations for their own communities. The “Plan” was so good that other cities adopted it, then other states, and eventually the Federal Government was so impressed by the Plan that they took it over and began to fund the training and materials through FEMA.
OH NO, NOT FEMA! I get this all the time at our meetings. Let me state for the record that CERT team members in green helmets and green vests are not going to put you in a FEMA camp. Nor are CERT team members assets to be deployed by FEMA. FEMA will never deploy CERT members. They only deploy professional first responders. The whole concept of a CERT team is to self mobilize in a disaster. We don’t wait for orders. We are already trained to know what to do.
In my opinion, and the opinions of our national leadership, the CERT program is a very good training course for everyone! I personally have been through the course six times, as well as the advanced training provided by the LA City Fire Department. I learn something every time I work with these instructors. It is a great foundation for any Neighborhood Watch or Oath Keeper Neighborhood Protection Plan (NPP), as taught in the “A Failure of Civility” manual.
If you can, take the course! If it is not available, ask your local Emergency Management office to provide it. Your taxes pay for it. You will not be disappointed in the training. If you have any questions about the CERT program, you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 928-636-8895.