Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) - Prepare. Plan. Practice.

CERT Training


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CERT Training


Various reports of "Lessons Learned" from different disasters including the most recent fire, flooding and weather disasters in Montecito/Santa Barbara 2018 indicate that emergency responders can’t be everywhere and citizens need to know how to take independent action to help themselves and others. So citizens must take the initiative to be prepared.

CERT training allows citizens to better prepare for their families in the case of an emergency.  Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT participants can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event especially when professional responders’ arrival may be delayed due to the scope of the event. 

CERT participants are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking an active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. The South SLO County CERT program plans to expand from educational efforts to organizing dedicated volunteers, CERT volunteers who can provide much needed non-emergency services in the form of public-education programs, preparedness training, shelter operations, and other community activities.


CERT in Action - FEMA Video

CERT Training

Find Your Local Training

CERT Training


Much like car insurance, you might never need it. But should the occasion arise, having the CERT training, just like having car insurance – you’re as ready as you can be to help yourself, your family and your neighborhood.

CERT participants are trained by FEMA qualified CERT trainers, emergency responders and subject matter experts in basic emergency care in areas that will help them take care of themselves and others before, during, and after a major emergency.

This valuable, all-risk, all-hazard training is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation.

The official 20-hour course is broken into sections:

 •  Preparedness.  2.5 hours. 

Includes specific disaster risks most relevant to your local community.

 •  Fire safety and suppression.  2.5 hours.

How to identify hazardous materials, put out a small fire, and fire gear.

 •  Disaster Medical Operations.  5 hours.

Triage and assessment, bleeding control, CPR-like airway control. Part first aid, part logistics of emergency medicine.

 •  Search and Rescue.  2.5 hours. 

How to sweep areas, assess structural damage, and rescue techniques.

 •  CERT Organization.  1.5 hours. 

The logistics of emergencies, Incident      Management System, local team organization, and communications.

 •  Psychology.  1 hour. 

How to help victims and first responders / yourself.

 •  Terrorism.  2.5 hours. 

How to identify what kind of attack has occurred (chemical, nuclear, etc.).

 •  Review and simulation.  2.5 hours. 

Written exam followed by a practical simulation test that uses all of the previous skills.

Find Your Local Training

Find Your Local Training

Find Your Local Training


The South San Luis Obispo County CERT Program offers the Basic CERT Training course in two manners:

1. In-person classroom style course: approximately 18-24 hours over a three week period. 

2. Online classroom course: approximately 17 hours followed by in-person training and certification: 

    Online Class Registration

    Google Drive for Course Resources

The South San Luis Obispo County CERT Program training only conducts non-discriminatory classes includes race, religion, gender, and group affiliations.

Please contact us directly should you wish to organize a class for your neighborhood, business or community group. You need a minimum of 20 people to be trained and a location to hold the training. 

Possible CERT Training's:


  •  Apartment and Office Buildings

  •  Church Groups

  •  Civic Groups

  •  Crime Watch Organizations

  •  Industrial Facilities

  •  Manufactured Home Parks

  •  Neighborhoods / Homeowners’ Associations

  •  Previous Disaster Victims

  •  School Groups

  •  Scouting / Explorer Troops 

Classes are also offered throughout the year in various locations throughout San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.

Local CERT Programs and Classes

   •   Cambria CERT

   •   Estero Bay CERT  

   •   North County CERT

   •   Santa Barbara CERT

   •   Santa Maria CERT

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