The West Orange County Community Emergency Response Team or CERT Program is comprised of those who live and/or work in Buena Park, Cypress, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, Westminster and their attached communities.
The West County CERT Program’s primary purpose is to educate people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact them at home, at work, or at play. The initial CERT training covers basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. With this training, CERT members can assist themselves and their families, plus others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.
CERT members give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to affected individuals and organize volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of their community.
The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens to assist in times of disaster. CERT has become a national program and is sponsored by FEMA
Did you know…
In a wide spread emergency event like an earthquake, it could be 3 to 7 DAYS before emergency responders are able to reach the neighborhoods and businesses in Western Orange County.
This is one of the realities of wide spread emergencies and disasters. There are simply not enough first responders to meet the needs of any community in great need. This is when your basic CERT training becomes an effective stop-gap until first responders can take charge.
CERT Basic Training
The CERT Basic Training 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 or workplace following an event when first responders (paramedics, fire, police) are not immediately available to help.
In an emergency, CERT teaches you to take care of your personal safety first, then your family, and then those around you. It is important to know what to do to protect ourselves and our family members before, during, and after an emergency event. CERT Training helps you do exactly this. Find out more about our next training event here.
Beyond Basic Training
Once the basic CERT training has been completed, CERT members are also encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking an active role in emergency preparedness projects, bi-monthly Team pot-luck dinners and other “call out” events like the Seal Beach Run and the Westminster Tet Parade. These events help to build Team comradery, keep members up-to-date, and refine the skills taught in the basic training.
To discover more about West Orange County Regional CERT, please contact us here.