Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training

CERT students practice cribbing and shoring on a simulated collapsed wall

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness. The training curriculum includes disaster preparedness, fire suppression, medical operations (first aid triage), light search and rescue, understanding the signs and symptoms of disaster psychology, and team organization. 

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 on campus.

CERT Training

The CERT program is a 20 hour class which is typically taught over the course of four non-consecutive days. The class includes a combination of classroom sessions and hands-on training culminating in a final practical exercise which incorporates all elements of the training.

Training is available through county emergency offices. To learn more CERT, visit 


Most CERT participants take the class in order to learn about emergency preparedness on behalf of their campus unit or for personal development purposes. These individuals form a cadre of trained personnel who can support their units during an emergency and who can be called on to support other campus operations.

In addition, all full-time residential staff and other key personnel supporting the 10 colleges and other student residential communities undergo CERT training in order to provide support to these communities during a major emergency.

Two formally organized "neighborhood" teams also exist:

  • Mt. Hamilton CERT serves the residential community at the UCO Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton.
  • Dickens CERT serves the Faculty/Staff Housing area at the base of campus.