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CERT Class Information & Overview

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Classes are 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 training, citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat the “three killers” by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims safely; and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.

Over the course of the CERT program you’ll learn the most up to date information through hands-on training in basic disaster preparedness, use of a fire extinguisher, disaster medical care, first aid training, search and rescue techniques, communicating through FRS radios and neighborhood team building. Participants of the program will learn lifesaving skills, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number.  Each of the CERT modules (except Radios) is covered in the Participant Manual, and will be fully illustrated and explained during the class (the radios class has a separate handout of information).
Please review each Chapter in the Participant Manual before each class so that way you will be familiar with the topic and ready with any questions you may have for the Instructor.

The last class of the series will be a Skills Day. During this extended Saturday or Sunday class, students will get a chance to practice the individual skills they learned in class, with fellow members of the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department CERT who have qualified as an Instructor for that skill. This is a very full and fun day, and includes your graduation ceremony and presentation of your membership credentials and CERT equipment backpack (for those who live in the cities SMCFD serves).

Class One: Disaster Preparedness

  • All about CERT
  • Earthquake type, magnitude, history and probability.
  • How to prepare before something happens.

Class Two: CERT Organization / Disaster Psychology

  • CERT Incident Command System
  • Chain of Command
  • CERT Activation
  • CERT Documentation
  • Disaster Psychology
  • Taking care of yourself & your team

Class Three: Disaster Medical Part 1

  • Minor burns
  • Applying splints to arms and legs
  • Practicing Disaster Medical Skills

Class Four: Disaster Medical Part 2

  • Opening airways, stopping bleeding and controlling shock
  • Medical Treatment Area
  • Triage (START)

Class Five: Fire Safety & Utilities

  • Natural gas, water, and electrical controls: Why, When, and How to shut them off.
  • Types of fire and when to use a fire extinguisher to put them out.
  • Hazardous materials at home, work, and on the road.

Class Six: Light Search & Rescue

  • Classify damaged buildings
  • Search and rescue
  • Lifting heavy objects and mechanical advantage

Class Seven: Terrorism & CERT Communications

  • Terrorism
  • WMD
  • Signs to look out for
  • Active Shooter
  • CERT assistance
  • Use of Radios
  • Formatting your Message
  • Documentation

Class Eight: Review for Skills Day

  • Extinguishing fire
  • Triaging and treating victims
  • Extricating a victim trapped by heavy timbers
  • Interior search for reported missing person
  • Use of Radio and messaging

Class Bonus: Communications & Activation

  • CERT Activation Procedures