Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team CERT is a national program created by FEMA to make communities safer, more prepared, and when incidents occur, more resilient in recovery. CERT is a partnership between the Federal and Fairfax County Governments and is managed by the County’s Fire and Rescue Department.  Local CERT programs train and organize teams of volunteers to assist their families, neighbors, co-workers, and other community members during emergencies when professional responders may not be immediately available to provide assistance. CERT volunteers also support their communities by organizing, promoting, and participating in emergency preparedness event, activities, and projects.  To become a CERT volunteer you must attend a 24-hour CERT Basic Training course.


Be prepared to help during a personal or community-wide incident or disaster. CERT training is challenging, fun, and FREE. We provide you with a backpack with personal protective equipment and disaster response supplies to get you started on preparedness.


We offer CERT classes at various community locations throughout the county by request, from various business and community groups. Many of our Advanced and Continuing Education classes are held at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy located at 4600 West Ox Road in Fairfax, VA.


CERT training is provided by the dedicated volunteer instructors of the CERT Program. Many of which were just like you a few years ago. Occasionally, adjunct instructors of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy are engaged to provide technically challenging courses.


Anyone who lives, works, or travels in Fairfax County, Virginia is eligible to take this FREE Emergency Response training. If you are:

  • 18 years of age or older.
  • 17 to 16 years old with parental or guardian permission.
  • 15 to 13 years old with a parent or guardian also participating.

People of varying physical abilities and languages are welcome and can be accommodated.


During the COVID pandemic this training is even more vital. But it must also be safe for you and our instructors. So the class sizes are limited and socially distanced to ensure your safety. 


To get started create an account. Click on the blue Sign Up button. Then click on the blue New Volunteer button to set up a Volunteer Profile. While you are in the system go ahead and register for the next CERT Basic Training Class.


CERT Basic Training course teaches regular individuals how to respond in a disaster to save lives. The skills taught can also apply with everyday emergencies as well. The course covers the following topics:  

  • Personal & Family Preparedness: Family emergency plans, prepare the home and emergency kits. 
  • Fire Safety and Utility Controls: How to stop small fires and prevent others. 
  • Disaster Medical Operations: Setting up and performing life-saving medical care. 
  • Light Search and Rescue: How and when to search for survivors. 
  • Disaster Psychology: How disasters effect everyone as a victim and responder. 
  • Team Organization: How to organize as part of the entire response team. 
  • Terrorism: What to watch out for. 

This training consists of one 8-session course that occurs either once or twice a week in the evening at one location somewhere in the county. The location used determines whether the course starts at 6:30 pm or 7 pm and each session runs for 3 to 3.5 hours.


  • Get prepared for your family to survive the next disaster!
  • Be ready to respond effectively during the next  emergency. 
  • Develop knowledge and skills in several advanced classes including: radio communications, HAZMAT awareness,CPR/AED, Stop the Bleed, Wide-Area Search, First Aid, and many more. All training is FREE for CERT members!
  • Participate in full-scale disaster drills; practice your skills on volunteer victims (after the pandemic)!
  • Push your personal boundaries! Learn to save lives with duct tape and rags, pull a person from under a heavy beam and use a fire extinguisher to put out small fires!
  • Participate to the level that you want. After completing your basic training there is no ongoing time or participation requirement.

Contact us for more information.


This calendar provides information for events available to people interested in learning about and getting trained by the Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team. Many more opportunities for FREE training and ways to get involved are available to you once you have completed the CERT Basic Training curriculum.

September 14, 2023                CERT Basic 184                    STARTS: 6:00PM-9:30PM 

CERT teaches people how to safely respond to major emergencies to save lives, when first responders may be delayed. Over 8-sessions instructors prepare participants to work together to manage a local response and assist First Responders once they arrive. The course concludes with a disaster exercise to challenge your new skills. Meets Thursday evenings from 6:00PM to 9:30PM.  Class dates are; Sep 14, 21, 28, Oct 5, 12, 19, 26 from 6:00 to 9:30 pm with a Final Exercise on Saturday morning, Oct 28 during the CERT Fall Master Exercise. Please be sure to note the Prerequisites, and Directions to the class, listed on the registration page.

      Location: Motorcycle Training Center 5801 18th St Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060

     Contact Info: Wayne Vick 202-498-2310

     Register: https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov/custom/1380/opp_details/188662


Sept 20, 2023                        STOP THE BLEED                  STARTS:  7:00PM-9:30PM

Open to the public.

STOP THE BLEED is a training program created to train bystanders in life-saving techniques. With the rise of mass shootings and active shooter situations in schools, churches, public meeting places, and even office buildings, it is vital that more and more individuals are trained in the basics of life-saving techniques, such as how to apply a pressure bandage, how to properly use a tourniquet, or use a hemostatic agent such as QuikClot.

    Location: Fairfax County Fire And Rescue Academy, 4600 West Ox Rd, Fairfax, VA 22030

    Park in front of the building on Maze Lane and enter via Door #16. The class will be held in the Quad (rooms 3, 4, 5, 6)  

    Point of Contact: Wayne V., trainingdiv@fairfaxcountycert.org

    Register:  https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov/custom/1380/opp_details/188315


November 6, 2023                 CERT Basic 186                   STARTS:  7:00PM 10:30PM 

CERT teaches people how to safely respond to major emergencies to save lives, when first responders may be delayed. Over 8-sessions instructors prepare participants to work together to manage a local response and assist First Responders once they arrive. The course concludes with a disaster exercise to challenge your new skills. Meets Monday and Thursday evenings from 6:00PM to 9:30PM.  Class dates are:  Nov 06, 09, 13, 16, 20, 27, 30 and the Final Exercise on Saturday morning from 8 AM to 12:30 PM, Dec 02.  Please be sure to note the Prerequisites, and Directions to the class, listed on the registration page.

      Location: Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy
                       4600 West Ox Road
                       Fairfax, VA 22030

     Contact Info: Wayne Vick 202-498-2310

     Register: https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov/custom/1380/opp_details/188824



CERT In the Community

Throughout the year, the CERT Program engages with the Fairfax County Community to provide information tables and demonstrations at outreach events and gatherings such as preparedness fairs and public safety events. We also practice our emergency skills such as traffic and crowd management at festivals, parades, and races. Often we are asked to provide speakers to explain the CERT Program to Homeowners Association Meetings, government meetings, and other community meetings. We are eager for new opportunities and events where we can share our preparedness message and explain more about CERT Basic Training. If you have an event that you think CERT can engage, contact us at: Outreach@fairfaxcountycert.org

August 26, 2023










Public Safety Open House – Outreach

CERT volunteers will interact with individuals attending the Department of Emergency Management and Security (DEMS) Public Safety Open House to provide preparedness information as well as information about CERT.

DEMS is offering free tickets for the event through Eventbrite.  To get tickets, use this:     Link


McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center, 4890 Alliance Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA

 For more information: outreach@fairfaxcountycert.org








The Fairfax County Department of Emergency Management and Security (DEMS) offers preparedness events and training to help County residents develop the skills to handle a disaster.



July 12, 2023                                                                  Introduction to Preparedness                                                         6:00pm – 7:30pm

Are you prepared for emergencies? Join this one-hour workshop to learn more about preparing yourself and your family for an emergency. Learn the basics of how to put together an emergency plan, making an emergency kit, staying informed during an emergency, and how to get involved.
Contact Info: Courtney Arroyo 571-350-1015

Location: Gum Springs Community Center, 8100 Fordson Rd Alexandria, VA 22306


July 19, 2023                                                                  Until Help Arrives                                                         6:00pm-9:00pm

The Until Help Arrives program was developed to educate and empower civilian bystanders to take action and provide life-saving care when they are the first on the scene during an emergency.

Confidence comes through preparation. The Until Help Arrives training course creates confident first responders by teaching scene safety principles, how to stop severe bleeding, and how to perform hands-only CPR.

Location: Gum Springs Community Center,  8100 Fordson Rd Alexandria, VA 22306

Contact Info: Courtney Arroyo 571-350-1015




Inclement Weather Policy

Fairfax County CERT events will be canceled when the Fairfax County Government is closed or when a non-Fairfax County site hosting the event is closed. The “open/closed” status of the Fairfax County Government can be found:

All CERT events are subject to cancellation due to weather, scheduling, or other factors. CERT volunteers are advised to check their email in the days leading up to an event and check with the Event Lead if there is any question. 


You can help, whether you’re a CERT or not!

CERT relies on our community to support our very active volunteer operations throughout Fairfax County. We always appreciate the support of our public-minded residents of Fairfax County and your donations to support this vital training and, award-winning, volunteer program. We are an IRS certified 501(c)(3) non-profit that can accept fully deductible contributions to support our operations. A dollar can be the most powerful and effective tool, before a crisis. 


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