What is CERT?
Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors such as number of victims, communication failures, and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment's notice through 911. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs.
CERT - Community Emergency Response Team - is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference. Through Basic CERT training, citizens can organize themselves and use spontaneous volunteers to manage utilities, put out small fires, provide basic medical first aid, search for and rescue victims calmly, safely, and efficiently.
CERT training will benefit any citizen who takes it. This individual will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Additionally, if a community wants to supplement its response capability after a disaster, civilians can be recruited and trained as neighborhood, business, and government teams that, in essence, will be auxiliary responders. These groups can provide immediate assistance to victims in their area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not had the training, and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional responders with prioritization and allocation of resources following a disaster. Since 1993 when this training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in more than 28 States and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training.
The Charlottesville-UVA Albemarle County Community Emergency Response Team
(CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may
impact Charlottesville and our surrounding communities. We prepare and train
volunteers in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search
and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. 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 in our community.
The Charlottesville-UVA Albemarle CERT Team is managed by Marge Thomas, Charlottesville-UVa-Albemarle Co. Emergency Management Coordinator.
- Register now for the next training class. more info...
- CERT participated in the September 2009 Operation Move! Hoos
full-scale exercise at Scott Stadium... more