The CERT course is delivered in the community by a team of 1st responders who have the requisite knowledge and skills to instruct the sessions. It is suggested that the instructors complete a CERT Train-the-Trainer (TTT) conducted by their State Training Office for Emergency Management or the Emergency Management Institute in order to learn the training techniques that are used successfully by the LAFD. The CERT training for community groups is usually delivered in two and a half hour sessions, 1 evening a week over a 7 week period. The training consists of the following:
Session I, Disaster Preparedness
Addresses hazards to which people are vulnerable in their community.
Materials cover actions that participants and their families take
before, during, and after a disaster. As the session progresses, the
instructor begins to explore an expanded response role for civilians in
that they should begin to consider themselves disaster workers. Since
they will want to help their family members and neighbors, this training
can help them operate in a safe and appropriate manner. The CERT
concept and organization are discussed as well as applicable laws
governing volunteers in that jurisdiction.
Session II, Disaster Fire Suppression
Briefly covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards, and
fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the
safe use of fire extinguishers, sizing up the situation, controlling
utilities, and extinguishing a small fire.
Session III, Disaster Medical Operations Part 1
Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction,
bleeding, and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment
Session IV, Disaster Medical Operations, Part 2
Covers evaluating patients by doing a head to toe assessment,
establishing a medical treatment area, performing basic 1st aid, and
practicing in a safe and sanitary manner.
Session V, Light Search & Rescue Operations
Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search
techniques, rescue techniques, and most important, rescuer safety.
Session VI, Disaster Psychology & Team Organization
Covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster
victim and worker. It addresses CERT organization and management
principles and the need for documentation.
Session VII, Course Review & Disaster Simulation
Participants review their answers from a take home examination.
Finally, they practice the skills that they have learned during the
previous 6 sessions in disaster activity.
During each session participants are required to bring safety equipment
(gloves, goggles, mask) and disaster supplies (bandages, flashlight,
dressings) which will be used during the session. By doing this for each
session, participants are building a disaster response kit of items
that they will need during a disaster.