Serving the Community with Pride

CERT Frequently Asked Question's

What is CERT?

CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team, an initiative that came out of President Bush’s call in 2002 to Americans to volunteer service to their country.

CERT is one of the primary training initiatives to prepare the public to meet the challenge of a natural or man-made calamity or disaster in their community. It is one of five programs that fall under the umbrella of The Citizen Corps Program (CCP) which was created to spearhead this effort to harness the power of individuals through education, training and volunteer service. Other CC Programs include Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS), Fire Corps and Medical Reserve Corps.

The program envisions that trained citizens who volunteer can make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues and disasters of all kinds.
Hundreds of communities in all 50 states and Puerto Rico have established CERT programs.

How can CERT-trained volunteers help?

CERT training promotes partnership between emergency responders in a community and its residents by providing them the knowledge and skills that can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until first responders arrive. Emergency personnel will train residents on basic disaster response skills; CERT-trained members are then integrated into the emergency response capability for their area.

If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community’s professional response, CERT members can assist others by applying their basic response and organizational skills until the first responders arrive. CERT members maintain and refine their skills by participating in exercises, refresher and advanced training. Members can also volunteer for projects that improve community emergency preparedness.

What will CERT-trained volunteers learn?

  • An understanding of the types of hazards most likely to affect their homes and communities.
  • The function of CERT and the roles CERT volunteers in an immediate response situation.
  • Ability to identify and reduce potential fire hazards in their homes and workplaces.
  • Work as a team to apply basic fire suppression strategies.
  • Apply techniques for opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating shock.
  • Conduct triage under simulated conditions.
  • To perform head-to-toe medical assessments.
  • Selection and set up a treatment area.
  • Basic treatments for various wounds.
  • Identification of planning and size-up requirements for potential search and rescue operations.
  • Common techniques for searching a structure.
  • Safe techniques for debris removal and victim extraction
  • Describe ways to protect rescuers during search and rescue
  • Recognize acts of terrorism.

Who should take CERT training?

Any resident over 18 with a desire to develop the skills and knowledge required to prepare for and respond to a disaster. Community groups such as Condo/Townhouse/Apartment Associations, Neighborhood Groups, Small and large Businesses, Communities of Faith and School Staffs are all encouraged to participate.
What CERT training modules are offered?
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Fire Safety
  • Light Search and Rescue
  • Team Organization
  • Disaster Psychology
  • CERT and Terrorism
  • Disaster Medical Operations-Triage and Treating Life Threatening Injuries
  • Disaster Medical Operations-Assessment, Treatment and Hygiene

Instruction includes lecture and practical hands-on involvement including the use of fire extinguishers and splinting and bandaging victim’s injuries. Refer to the specific training course syllabus on our training webpage for more information

Why is CERT training free?

The City Councils recognize the value of residents being prepared for emergencies and disasters. Community-based preparedness planning allows residents to help themselves, their families and neighbors in emergencies and disasters until first responders arrive.

CERT training will help residents to better respond to those affected by emergencies and disasters until the arrival of first responders and prevent these residents from becoming victims themselves.

When can I take CERT training?

The Cosumnes Fire department schedules classes at various times throughout the year. Please refer to the CERT Training page for specific course schedules.

Training Locations:

Elk Grove - CERT Training Classes in Elk Grove are conducted at the Cosumnes Fire Department Training Center located at 10573 East Stockton Blvd, Elk Grove, CA 95624
Galt - CERT Training Classes in Galt are conducted at the City of Galt Police Department located at 455 Industrial Drive, Galt, CA 95632

How can I get more information on, or sign up for CERT training?

For additional information regarding the Elk Grove / Galt CERT program, contact us at

You can register for an available course on-line, visit the Training to see what is currently available.

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Elk Grove - Galt CERT - Sponsored by the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department
In partnership with the Elk Grove City Police Department and the Galt City Police Department

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