The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Citizens' Academy program is sponsored through a partnership between Santa Clara City Officials, Fire Department Staff, and Firefighters' Local Union #1171 for the citizens of Santa Clara.
The Santa Clara Community Emergency Response Team program is designed to help the citizens of Santa Clara to be self-sufficient after a major disaster, when the scope of incidents can be overwhelming, and the need for a well-trained civilian work force can be invaluable. A major earthquake in the City of Santa Clara will cause damage to homes, roads, and other structures. Electricity, gas, water and phone service may be interrupted. Local resources will be overwhelmed with hundreds of emergency calls. You can help your family, your neighborhood, your business, and your community to recover by becoming part of or leading a Community Emergency Response Team.
As a community service, firefighters from the City's Fire Department train participants in neighborhoods and workplaces to be part of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Through CERT, organizations and trained volunteers can serve as first responders until professional forces arrive. The motto of CERT is "To do the most good for the most people" in the event of a disaster.
The goals of CERT are:
- To promote household self-sufficiency
- To promote community self-sufficiency; and
- To organize for effective emergency response by coordinating the efforts of paid and volunteer responders.
Since the program began in 1995, hundreds of participants have learned about the City's emergency organization and have received the 20 hour training. The training, which consists of six three hour and twenty minute classes, covers safety, awareness, preparation, utility control and fire suppression, basic medical care, damage assessment, light search and rescue, communications, and CERT team management. A small nominal fee covers the cost of materials. More individuals belonging to schools, churches, businesses, and other community organizations are being assembled to take the CERT training or are being targeted for training in an attempt to have every neighborhood in the City with a functioning civilian disaster emergency response team.
Consider becoming part of the team. The dates for a Free Disaster Preparedness Course and the 2016 CERT Schedule are now available. To sign up for CERT training, or for more information on the Santa Clara CERT program, send an email to FDCERT@santaclaraca.gov or call the Santa Clara Fire Department Training Division at 1-408-615-4940.