Calexico Fire Department CERT Program

What is Community Emergency Response Team Training?
Immediately after a disaster strikes, emergency services could be overwhelmed, leaving families, neighborhoods and businesses on their own for hours or days. It is important to know, if a major disaster occurs, the Calexico Fire Department, paramedics, police…may be significantly delayed! They will be deployed FIRST to major incidents such as collapsed buildings. That is why you constantly hear…You MUST be prepared to take care of yourself. In the CERT course they say…“The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of People.” When you are trained, you are far more equipped to deal with your circumstances without needing aid from outside sources.
In such a crisis, it will be neighbors assisting neighbors until emergency response personnel can arrive. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training provides residents with the skills and tools necessary to take care of themselves, their families, neighbors, and coworkers for the first 24 – 72 hours following a significant disaster.
Calexico Fire Department is offering this free, FEMA-approved CERT training to the communities we serve. Classes will be taught by trained emergency personnel, including firefighters, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. Through this training, residents learn about hazards that may impact their area as well as basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Upon completion of the course, CERT members can assist their families and others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.
It is important to note that CERT volunteers do not work for the Calexico Fire Department. Instead, volunteers are registered with their respective cities, unincorporated areas or local law enforcement agencies. In the event of an emergency, some volunteers become part of the disaster plan for local authorities. Upon activation of an Emergency Operations Center, a city representative, a Fire Department liaison or law enforcement liaison will contact CERT volunteers and provide direction about how those volunteers will be utilized. Participants have no obligation or commitment to respond or act should a disaster occur. CERT members learn about the different hazards with the potential to impact the city of Calexico Fire Department and train in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
What are the Roles & Responsibilities of a CERT Team Member?
CERT members perform various roles in emergency preparedness, response and recovery. These activities are carried out in support of and at the direction of first responders. Specific roles and responsibilities include, but may not be limited to:
  • Basic first aid
  • Assist neighbors in the event of an emergency    
  • Family emergency preparedness procedures
  • Emergency preparedness support and outreach
  • Emergency Operations Center support  
  • Emergency shelter and logistics support
  • Emergency response support (i.e. debris removal, sandbagging, evacuation, search and rescue, etc.)
CERT Members “do not”:
  • Suppress large fires
  • Enter heavily damaged or dangerous structures
  • Perform hazardous material cleanup or respond to biological, chemical or radiological hazards
  • Perform fire, search and rescue or medical operations beyond their training
  • Activate or deploy unless directed to do so by the city's emergency preparedness coordinator
  • Replace professional first responders
Calexico CERT Program Informational Flyer: