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.

January 17, 2024                 CERT Basic 187                   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 Wednesday evenings from 7:00PM to 10:30PM.  Class dates are:  January 17, 22, 24, 29, 31, Feb 5 and 7 and the Final Exercise on Saturday morning, Feb 10th  from 8 AM to 12:00 PM.  Please be sure to note the Prerequisites, and Directions to the class, listed on the registration page.

      Location: Montebello Condominium Community, 5905 Mt Eagle Dr, Alexandria, VA 22303

     Contact Info: Wayne Vick 202-498-2310

     Register: https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov/custom/1380/opp_details/188865


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

October 14, 2023

Fire Stations Open House – Outreach

 The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and all County and Volunteer fire and rescue stations cordially invite the general public to participate in a community open house spotlighting Fire Prevention week. The theme for 2023 is “Cooking safety starts with YOU” ™ It serves to remind us all of the simple actions we can take to stay safe from fire year-round. Volunteer Firehouses will host activities, provide tours, and have available fire prevention educational materials. For more information, click on your Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook pages below.

For prospective volunteers, the Open House is also a great opportunity to talk with operational and administrative volunteers and learn about different opportunities to get involved. For more information, visit one of the following volunteer fire departments websites below.

In addition, Fairfax County CERT volunteers will be staffing Outreach tables at many fire stations to discuss disaster preparedness and the classes we offer to the community.

For more information: outreach@fairfaxcountycert.org


McLean Volunteer Fire Department (Station 1), 1244 Laughlin Avenue, McLean

Vienna Volunteer Fire Department (Station 2), 400 Center Street South, Vienna

Franconia Volunteer Fire Department (Station 5), 6300 Beulah Street, Alexandria

Annandale Volunteer Fire Department (Station 8), 7128 Columbia Pike, Annandale

Bailey’s Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department (Station 10), 3601 Firehouse Lane, Falls Church

Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department (Station 12), 9916 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls

Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department (Station 13), 2148 Gallows Road, Dunn Loring

Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department (Station 14), 9501 Old Burke Lake Road, Burke

Centreville Volunteer Fire Department (Station 17), 5856 Old Centreville Road, Centreville

Lorton Volunteer Fire Department (Station 19), 7701 Armistead Road, Lorton

Fair Oaks Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department (Station 21), 12300 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Fairfax

Greater Springfield Volunteer Fire Department (Station 22), 7011 Backlick Road, Springfield



Victim Actors needed for December 2 & 16

 At the end of each CERT Basic course, we hold a Final Exercise for students to practice what they learned. Having the opportunity to use their new skills in a simulated practice better prepares them to help community members if a disaster occurs.

We invite you to help by volunteering to be a victim actor either once or multiple times if you like the activity. Our next Exercises are on Saturday, December 2 & 16. As a victim actor (no experience needed), you will be placed in a safe scene/environment to be found and rescued.

Volunteers should be in generally good health; i.e., no medical conditions or injuries that could put an actor at risk during an active exercise. You may be asked to climb stairs, sit or lay on the ground for long periods of time, receive makeup to simulate injuries, and act consistent with your assigned simulated injuries. Actors may be working indoors, outdoors, or in the dark and should dress for the weather. Review “What to Expect” for more details about the experience. Download PDF

Victim Actors must be:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • 17 to 16 years old with parent or guardian permission
  • 15 to 13 years old with a parent or guardian also participating
  • All participants will need to complete a release form. 

If you can participate, please submit your contact information on Jotform at https://form.jotforhttps://form.jotform.com/232815339082154 

These Exercises will be held at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy, 4600 West Ox Road, Fairfax, VA 22030


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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