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Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is a program designed to prepare Mountain View residents to help themselves, their families and neighbors, in the event of a disaster. The training covers basic skills that are important to know in a disaster when emergency services are not available. Formerly known as Neighborhood Disaster Preparedness Training, the CERT program is free to all citizens of Mountain View.

Over the course of 4 weeks, CERT members receive training in earthquake awareness, disaster fire suppression techniques, disaster medical operations, first aid/CPR, light search and rescue as well as team organization and management. CERT Training culminates with a disaster simulation and comprehensive course review. All classes are taught by trained emergency personnel, including firefighters and emergency medical services personnel, with an emphasis on hands-on practice.

Following a disaster, CERT teams can extinguish small fires, turn off gas inlets to damaged homes, perform light search and rescue and render basic first aid. The CERT program provides an effective response capability.

Free CERT training classes are conducted throughout the year, and have been taught in languages other than English. A course schedule is shown below, and an outline of the course material is shown at the bottom of this page. Please use the “Register Online” link to sign up for a class, or call (650) 903-6825 for information and registration. 


The CERT Program Details

Through 8 modules, you will be trained in basic self-help and mutual-aid emergency functions. Following is a brief description of each module:

         Disaster Preparedness

  • Introduction to disasters
  • Impact on infrastructure
  • Building structures and nonstructural items
  • Role of CERTs in disaster response
  • Disaster Fire Suppression

Identifying and reducing potential fire hazards

  • Basic fire suppression strategy
  • Firefighting resources
  • Firefighting techniques

Disaster Medical Operations--Part 1

  • Treatment strategies for life-threatening conditions
  • Principles of triage

    Disaster Medical Operations--Part 2

    • Medical operations conducted within treatment areas to which victims are sent from triage, including:
    • Head-to-toe patient assessment
    • Treatments for various injuries
    • Public health considerations

Light Search And Rescue Operations

  • Search and rescue priorities and resources
  • Techniques for situation size-up and search
  • Lifting, cribbing, and victim removal
  • Rescuer safety

Disaster Psychology And Team Organization

  • The post-disaster emotional environment
  • CERT organization
  • CERT decision-making and documentation

Terrorism and CERT

  • Define terrorism
  • Possible terrorism targets within your community
  • Biological, Nuclear, Incendiary, Chemical, and Explosive (B-NICE) weapons
  • Characteristics of B-NICE weapons Actions to take following a suspected terrorism event

Course Review and Disaster Simulation

Hands-on application of CERT Skills during a simulated disaster, including:

  • Extinguishing fires
  • Search & Rescue
  • Disaster medical operations

Mountain View is fortunate to have a number of organized neighborhood CERT groups.  These are composed of a core group of CERT trained individuals and neighborhood volunteers.  They provide an on-going source of disaster preparedness information to the local neighborhood and conduct periodic drills to practice their CERT skills.  In a disaster, when 911 service is not available, these groups can provide a critical link to identify and communicate the neighborhood’s needs to the city’s Emergency Operating Center. For more information, go to the CERT Neighborhood Groups page. If you are a CERT graduate and would like to update your contact information please click here..