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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. There are three different pathways that a volunteer can choose to participate in for their community. Each pathway requires a different set of requirements beyond the CERT basic course. The three types for the community are CERT Team Volunteer, CERT Team Leader, and CERT Section Chief. 

 

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. 

 

 

CERT Team Volunteer

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Volunteer is a voluntary CERT team member who has training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization or disaster medical operations.

 

For Team Volunteer there are Type 1 and Type 2 skills. The requirements for Type 2 include the following training: IS 100, IS 200, IS 700, IS 800, and the CERT Basic course. Type 1 requires all courses from Type 2 plus additional supplemental training.  

 

CERT Team Leader

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Team Leader is a volunteer who is part of a CERT and directs team activities.

 

For Team Leader there are Type 1 and Type 2 skills. Type 2 requirements include the following training: IS 240, IS 241, IS 242, IS 1300, IS 2200, G427- CERT Program Manager Course and the CERT Basic course. Type 1 requires all courses from Type 2 plus additional supplemental training.  

CERT Section Chief

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Section Chief is a volunteer who is responsible for a specific functional area within the CERT.

 

The CERT Section Chief requires the following training: IS 100, IS 200, IS 244, IS 288, IS 315, IS 505, IS 700, IS 703, IS 800, and the CERT Basic course. 

 

Background checks will be conducted for all members who are interested in the CERT program. Moreover, some members of the team may take more in-depth training such as AED training, basic first aid, and CPR.  

Below is a link to the Independent Study (IS) Courses: 

 

Independent Study (IS) Courses

 

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 in-person practical training to receive their CERT course completion certificate. The training will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9 PM for a duration of three weeks with a disaster simulation exercise on the final Saturday. This training course is available twice a year.

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 in-person practical training to receive their CERT course completion certificate. The training will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9 PM for a duration of three weeks with a disaster simulation exercise on the final Saturday. This training course is available twice a year.

 

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.
  • Terrorism and CERT: Describe the action to take following a suspected terrorist incident.
  • Disaster Simulation: A small-scale disaster simulation, located at the City of Tacoma Fire Department Training Center (2124 Marshall Ave, Tacoma, WA 98421), where you get to put the skills you learned throughout the course to the test – with the help of trained professionals (firefighters, police officers, utility professionals, and more).

*Participants must attend all days and times in order to receive final certificate of course completion. 

 

Get the Tacoma Prepared App!

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 a primary method of communication with the City's CERT members, so download the app today to stay involved!

 

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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.