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Community Emergency Response Team

What is a Community Emergency Response Team?

CERT logoThe Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program that educates citizens about disaster preparedness for the 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. CERT members are trained to safely respond to an emergency on the family, neighborhood and community level, and can provide assistance when first responders are unavailable. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.


About City of Tacoma CERT

City of Tacoma's CERT is a free, community-based, all-volunteer program. You are eligible to join if you live within the City of Tacoma limits or our CERT program is the closest offered to you (while remaining in Pierce County). Enter your ZIP Code, if outside the City of Tacoma, and find the nearest CERT program to you. Training includes both online and in-person activities from trained professionals.

City of Tacoma’s CERT Program Pathways

City of Tacoma Emergency Management invites citizens who live in or near the city limits of Tacoma to become a member of our CERT team. Below you will find our CERT Volunteer Pathways: the choice is yours and solely depends on the level of involvement you would like to have within our CERT program.

 

All training links will be available in the welcome packet after registering.

CERT Advocate

CERT Advocates are our community preparedness promoters.  CERT Advocates are those that have not completed both the Basic CERT online training and CERT practical exercise, or are currently going through it; and/or have not completed the basic Independent Study (IS) 100, 200, and 700 courses; and/or have not completed the background check process.

 

CERT Advocates are an integral part of our CERT volunteer team.  These members look for ways to help your neighborhood and community prepare now and/or have the desire to assist before an emergency, without having to deploy, by advocating such preparedness campaigns like:

  • Map Your Neighborhood
  • Prepare in a Year
  • Community Emergency Response Teams

Requirements:

CERT Level One

CERT Level One (Emergency Workers) is the basic level CERT membership, eligible to deploy throughout the City of Tacoma after a disaster, as directed by the City of Tacoma’s Emergency Management Team. 

 

Requirements: 

  • CERT Basic Training (Online) Completion Certificate 
  • Completion of Disaster Simulation In-Person Training
  • Passed background check
  • Independent Study (IS) Courses 100, 200, 700
  • Can deploy as an Emergency Worker

CERT Level Two

CERT Level Two (Advanced Member) members have the basic level of training, but may also be First Aid and CPR certified and are skilled in the Incident Command System (ICS). 

 

Requirements: 

  • Basic First Aid, CPR and AED Training
  • Independent Study (IS) Courses 100, 200, 700, 800 / Other advanced training (CERT related) 
  • CERT Basic Training Online Completion Certificate
  • Completion of Disaster Simulation In-Person Training
  • Passed background check 
  • Can deploy as an Emergency Worker

CERT Neighborhood Team Leader

CERT Neighborhood Leaders are responsible for their neighborhood CERT, consisting of CERT Advocates, Level 1s and Level 2s.  The goal is for every neighborhood in the City of Tacoma to have at least one CERT Neighborhood Leader. 

 

CERT Neighborhood Leaders choose this position because they want to actively work with their neighbors and local CERT members to prepare their neighborhood before an emergency happens and have the desire to lead from the front during an emergency situation.  There are no set tasks and responsibilities required to be done by the CERT Neighborhood Leader.  Each leader should regularly engage with their neighborhood CERT members to address the individual and group needs of their area.  Here are some suggestions of things you can do with your team:

  • Organize regular in-person and/or virtual meeting with your neighborhood CERT members to connect with each other and identify skills and preferences.

Requirements:

  • Willingness to organize and coordinate a team of diverse CERT members, at the direction of the City’s Emergency Management Team
  • Basic First Aid, CPR and AED Training
  • CERT Basic Training (Online) Completion Certificate
  • Completion of Disaster Simulation In-Person Training
  • Passed background check
  • Independent Study (IS) Courses 100, 200, 240, 315, 700, 800
  • Can deploy as an Emergency Worker

 

CERT Basic Training

The basic CERT training course is required for volunteers who want to become a certified member of our team with the option to be deployed during an emergency. The training will include those components necessary to get you started and become capable of performing basic CERT functions. Each participant must complete both the online training and in-person practical training to receive their CERT course completion certificate. The online training may be completed on your own time and at your own pace, while the two-day, 16 hour in-person training is available twice a year on a weekend.

 

Even if you aren’t ready to become a certified member or aren’t wanting to deploy during an emergency, our CERT basic training course is available for anyone to take! The classes follow standard models developed by FEMA and are offered in cities across the United States. Aimed at equipping our community to prepare for and respond to disasters relevant to our area, this model teaches neighborhood residents how to help each other in the first few minutes, hours or days following a disaster – before emergency responders are able to render professional help.


CERT Course Content

The basic CERT course will include those components necessary to get you started and become capable of performing basic CERT functions. Each participant must complete both the online training and in-person practical training to receive their CERT course completion certificate.  The online training may be completed on your own time and at your own pace, while the two-day, 16 hour in-person training is available twice a year on a weekend.


What will you learn?

  • Disaster Preparedness: How to prepare yourselves and your neighborhoods for the various hazards that may occur.
  • Team Organization and Disaster Psychology: Addresses organization and management principles necessary for a CERT to operate successfully. Covers critical incident stress for victims as well as emergency workers.
  • Medical Operations: How to conduct triage, establish medical treatment areas, and provide basic first aid for victims.
  • Damage Assessment: How to rapidly assess damage employing a standardized format used throughout the county.
  • Fire Suppression: How to use fire extinguishers and other equipment to suppress small fires.
  • Light Search and Rescue: How to perform light search and rescue planning, techniques, and rescuer safety.
  • Disaster Simulation: A small-scale disaster simulation, located at the City of Tacoma Fire Department Training Center, where you get to put the virtual skills you learned throughout the course to the test – with the help of trained professionals.

Online Lecture (Virtual) Training

Online CERT is developed to provide the FEMA standardized 2019 curriculum to learners across the United States, meeting the lecture portion of the CERT training requirements. Once completed, you just follow up with your local CERT Program to complete the hands-on practical portion and receive your full CERT credentials.

  • Estimated Time = 12 hours
  • Access it on your mobile device or computer.
  • Complete it at your pace and at your convenience.
  • Course progress will be saved and can be resumed later.
  • You will receive the link to the online portion of your training once you register.
  • Certificate of online completion must be presented to instructor at the hands-on, practical portion of your training.

Practical Training and Disaster Simulation Exercise

 The practical portion of your training is where you get learn first-hand from professionals (firefighters, police officers, utility professionals, and more).  This is the opportunity to practice the skills you learned virtually and apply them in-person through hands-on activities.

  • Estimated Time = 12-16 hrs. (two, six-eight hour days)
  • Date and Time: Offered Twice per Year
  • Location: Tacoma Fire Training Center – 2124 Marshall Ave, Tacoma, WA 98421
  • Must attend all days and times in order to receive final certificate of course completion.

 

Additional Information

You also need to download the Tacoma Prepared (UNITE by QuickSeries©) mobile app to learn more about Tacoma’s CERT program, including registration information. The Tacoma Prepared app is an emergency management tool that serves to unite community members and promote solidarity all year round. The app delivers accurate information and resources during an emergency and can be used to enhance preparation, communicate news, and motivate action.

 

The Tacoma Prepared mobile app is the City’s primary method of communication with its CERT members, so download the app today to stay involved!

 

google play
Apple app store

 

Tacoma Prepared


The Tacoma Prepared (UNITE by
QuickSeries©) mobile app is an emergency management tool that serves to unite community members and promote solidarity all year round. The app delivers accurate information and resources during an emergency and can be used to enhance preparation, communicate news, and motivate action.