The West Orange County CERT Academy covers basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members are better able to assist their family, neighborhood and/or workplace following an event when first responders (paramedics, fire, police) are not immediately available to help.
Did you know….
In a wide spread emergency event like an earthquake, it could be 3 to 7 DAYS before any emergency responders are available to reach the neighborhoods and businesses in Western Orange County.
This is why attending the CERT Academy training is so important for you – for the safety/survival of your family, if no other reason. Please make the time and take this course. Plus, you may even have some fun while you learn.
At this time we don’t have the dates for our next CERT Academy Training Course set. Coordinating the training team, location and the first responders who deliver the course is not always an easy set of tasks.
Generally, we hold our courses each spring, but we have held more than one Basic Training in a year based on interest (demand) for it.
Please do let us know that you are interested (create the demand) and you’ll be the first to know once our dates are set.
Note: There is no charge for the course and is open to anyone 18 years or older; 16+ with parent or guardian permission; 14+ with parent or guardian participation.
Still, have some questions?
Here are some of the questions we hear most often from people before they register and attend the CERT Academy:
Why should I attend?
Your CERT training may be used just for your family, or in neighborhoods, businesses, and schools. Trained CERT members realize that in the event of a major disaster they may be required to rely on themselves and their neighbors to handle emergencies until first responders arrive.
The primary reason for the CERT Academy is to give people the decision-making, organizational, and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors, and associates while waiting for help. While people will respond to others in need without the training, the goal of the CERT program is to help people do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.
And you just may have some fun while you learn how to survive the next disaster.
How does CERT benefit the community?
People who go through the CERT Academy have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace, and community, and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or workplace. When a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, CERT members can apply the training learned in the classroom, and during exercises, to give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until help arrives. CERT members can also assist with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community.
What if I want to do more than just the basic training?
CERT members can increase their knowledge and capability by attending classes on animal care, special needs concerns, donation management, community relations, shelter management, debris removal, utility control, advanced first aid, Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) use, CPR skills, and others. CERT member also can use their skills to help the program flourish by volunteering for scheduled community events (Cypress Festival, Seal Beach Run/Walk, Cypress PD Open House, La Palma Run for Fun, the Westminster Tet Parade, St. Patrick’s Day in Seal Beach, etc.)
What if I have concerns about my age or physical ability?
There are many jobs within a CERT for someone who wants to be involved and help, such as documentation, comforting others, logistics, etc. Non-disaster related team activities may include keeping databases, developing a website, writing a newsletter, planning activities, helping with special events and organizing exercises and activities.
During CERT classroom training, if one has a concern about doing a skill like lifting, just let the instructor know. You can learn from watching. We would like everyone who wants to go through the training to have an opportunity to participate and learn the skills. CERT educates participants about local hazards and trains them in skills that are useful during disaster and life’s everyday emergencies.
What about liability?
The text of the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 is available to view here. Also, there is information about State Liability Laws from FEMA and the Citizen Corps. During training, each sponsoring agency should brief its CERT members about their responsibilities as a CERT member and volunteer.