WC/JC CERT PROGRAM
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is a nationally supported, locally implemented initiative that teaches people how to better prepare themselves for hazards that may affect their communities. Since 1993, CERT trains the public in basic disaster response skills such as team organization, disaster medical operations, fire safety, and light search and rescue. The ability for CERT volunteers to perform these activities frees up professional responders to focus their efforts on more complex, essential, and critical tasks.
Washington County/JC CERT members can be involved in a wide variety of activities throughout the year. During emergencies and disasters, CERT may be called upon to help with evacuations, search and rescue, damage assessments, traffic control, or even to count dump trucks of debris so communities have proper documentation for FEMA reimbursement! But don't think that when disasters aren't happening, CERT isn't active! Team members meet together regularly to train, learn, exercise, and provide service to the communities and agencies of Washington County. They help with crowd control wherever large numbers of people are gathered -- whether it's for a concert, a community festival or a flu clinic. They hand out information at community events, help with storm spotting, and attend lots of classes.
This bi-annual training covers basic skills that are important to know in a disaster when emergency services are not available. With training and practice, and by working as a team, you will be able to protect yourself and maximize your capability to help for the greatest number of people after a disaster.
There are 9 core units to CERT basic trainings:
Unit 1: Disaster Preparedness
Unit 2: CERT Organization
Unit 3: Disaster Medical Operations - Part 1
Unit 4: Disaster Medical Operations - Part 2
Unit 5: Disaster Psychology
Unit 6: Fire Safety and Utility Controls
Unit 7: Light Search and Rescue Operations
Unit 8: Terrorism and CERT
Unit 9: Course Review, Final Exam and Disaster Simulation
Levels of Involvement
Level One: This designation is given to those citizens who have attended the initial basic 20-hour FEMA CERT training, and who are 15 years of age or older but chose not to be involved as a member of CERT. Any citizen under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian participating with them in the program at all times. This level is also known as the "Awareness Level." Citizens at the Awareness Level are given a Certificate of Participation, but are not given a CERT Helmet, Vest, or ID. They are not registered Washington County/Johnson City CERT Volunteers.
Level Two - This designation is given to those citizens who attended the initial basic 20-hour FEMA CERT Training, are over 18 years of age, and have chosen to become an active member of CERT. This designation is also known as the "Neighborhood Response Level" as these members may assist, at their own discretion, their neighbors during disasters or emergencies. These members are registered volunteers with CERT.
Level Three - This designation is given to those citizens who attended the initial basic 20-hour FEMA CERT training, are over 18 years of age, and chose to become a member of CERT at a more advanced level. This designation is also known as the "Community Response Level" as these members may be contacted by the CERT Program Manager, or directly by the EMA Director to assist their community or region during a disaster. These members are credentialed volunteers with Washington County/Johnson City EMA.