Community Emergency Response Teams Training (CERT)
The CERT program is a 20-hour commitment; it educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that are most likely to occur here in San José and promotes basic disaster response skills development, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. CERT volunteers are trained to react safely, responsibly and effectively to emergency situations, as well as support their communities during non-emergency events as well. The CERT program aligns with a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely upon during disaster situations.

The CERT Basic Course is delivered by a team of San Joséfirst responders, and other qualified instructors. It includes the following components:

  • Disaster Preparedness: Addresses hazards specific to the community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during and after a disaster as well as an overview of CERT and local laws governing volunteers.
  • Small Fire Suppression: Covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, controlling utilities and extinguishing a small fire.
  • Medical Operations Part I: Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.
  • Medical Operations Part II: Covers evaluating patients by doing a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area and performing basic first aid.
  • Light Search and Rescue Operations: Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques and rescuer safety.
  • Psychology and Team Organization: Covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and workers, and addresses CERT organization and management.
  • Course Review and Disaster Simulation: Participants review and practice the skills that they have learned during the previous six sessions in a disaster activity.

CERT Training is free to those who live or work in San José. Attendance is required on all days to receive certification.

Response to the Cert Program has been overwhelming and an extensive waitlist for this program has formed. The Office of Emergency Management will continue to reach out to residents who have been patiently waiting on the list first before re-opening the program to the entire community.

We will continue to update the website for upcoming trainings, so we suggest the completion of this form to receive announcements of additional upcoming CERT classes.

You may also get in touch with us via email at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.