10 steps for starting a CERT program in your area

Under the CERT program, community members train for a disaster and use that training in times of crisis


By Dr. Shana Nicholson
American Military University

For almost 20 years, I have been an active member of the emergency medical services (EMS), fire science, and public safety profession. I have seen many advancements during my time in the field and I am gratified to see yet another important area being developed—community involvement during a crisis. Such involvement by average citizens includes active participation in planning and practicing to respond to a crisis in the community.

The value of community participation in disaster mitigation and response has been highlighted by examples of bystander support during recent crises such as the Boston Marathon bombing, hurricane response, and tornados. One program created to better organize community participation is Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).

Under the CERT program, community members train for a disaster and use that training in times of crisis. The CERT program is proactive. It encourages community members to train with public safety professionals and therefore enhances the response knowledge and manpower of a community during a disaster response. This program allows rescue efforts to include average people in a safe way.

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About the author

In Public Safety is an American Military University (AMU) sponsored blog that features analysis and commentary on issues relating to law enforcement, emergency management, fire services and national intelligence. This blog features in-depth discussions authored by leading experts with decades of experience in their field. To stay updated on blog posts and other news relevant to these sectors, please follow us on Facebook by “liking” AMU & APUS Public Safety Programs. You can also follow us on our sector-specific Twitter accounts: @AMUPoliceEd, @AMUFireEd, @AMUDisasterEd, @AMUIntelStudies.

  1. Tags
  2. Safety
  3. Education and Training
  4. Rescue
  5. Disaster Management

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