What is CERT?
If paid or volunteer professional responders are not available to address immediate life-saving needs or to protect property, CERT members can help. CERTs are not intended to replace a community's response capability, but rather, to serve as an important supplement to it.
CERT members must keep their safety in mind as their first priority. CERT volunteers must know their capabilities and the limitations of their training and equipment and work within those limitations.
CERTs can complement and enhance first-response capability by working outward from their homes to the neighborhood or office and beyond until first responders arrive or until the teams report to an incident command post. CERTs can then assist first-response personnel as directed. CERT members will be Douglas County volunteers and will become eligible for worker’s compensation coverage and liability protection during a recognized disaster or training exercises.
CERT Training During training, CERT members learn to:
Prepare for the hazards that threaten their communities.
Apply size-up and safety principles.
Locate and turn off utilities.
Extinguish small fires.
Identify hazardous materials situations.
Triage and treat victims.
Set up a medical treatment area.
Conduct searches and rescues in lightly and moderately damaged structures.
Understand the psychological impact of a disaster on themselves and others.
Organize CERT members and spontaneous volunteers for an effective and safe response.
Apply response skills in a disaster simulation.
Following initial training, Douglas County Emergency Management has the challenge of helping CERT members maintain and improve their skills through a variety of training programs, exercises, and special projects, all tailored at the local level to meet local needs.
The pictures above are the CERT team helping Tahoe Douglas Fire with an evacuation drill of the Skyland subdivision on June 8th.