Severe thunderstorms -- like 2012's derecho, only worse -- strike Fairfax County, causing widespread flooding, power outages, and road closures. Many buildings are damaged; people are injured; and 911 is overwhelmed and unreachable. If your neighborhood was affected, would you know what to do?
The Community Emergency Response Team program (CERT) teaches emergency preparedness and disaster response skills to regular people, so that they can safely help themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods during major emergencies where first responders may be delayed. Taught by experienced instructors from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and CERT volunteer instructors, the free training combines 25 hours of classroom learning with hands-on training.
The CERT training classes below follows the FEMA curriculum, tailored to local disasters and hazards. Educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Emphasis on hands-on skill development and Fairfax County protocols and procedures. Instructor will provide syllabus with class schedule at first session. This training does not require any special physical strength or agility.
All CERT training is FREE to Fairfax residents or those working in Fairfax.
The following dates show the 1st day of training. The class number represents your student body. You must register before the required cut-off date for each event. All days must be fully attended in order to graduate.
Fairfax County CERT classes are generally held in the spring and fall at the Fire and Rescue Academy in Fairfax (the same facility where Fairfax County's firefighters train), meeting for seven classes in the evenings from 7-10:30 PM, either weekly or twice-weekly.
In addition, for members of faith-based groups, workplaces, homeowners' or condo associations, and other community organizations, if you can bring together a minimum of 12 people interested in taking CERT training and can provide somewhere to train (like a clubhouse, community room, or other meeting space), we'll send CERT instructors out to you, free! If you're interested in getting CERT training for your group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
All people 18 years or older who live, work, worship, or spend significant time in Fairfax County are eligible for CERT training. Students of all abilities are welcome to participate.
(Additional training opportunities for teens are available through the Teen CERT program. For information about Teen CERT and other CERT training opportunities, please email Jeffrey Katz, Volunteer Liaison, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.)
Signups for CERT training and volunteer opportunities are shown as schueduled above, but managed through Fairfax County's volunteer management system. To register for free CERT Training, you'll need to set up a volunteer profile:
-If you're signing up for a specific class, click on that class's listing. Otherwise, go to the "Interested in CERT" opportunity (http://bitly.com/InterestCERT). Then, click "Apply."
-Click the "New Volunteer Sign Up" button and create a profile by entering your information in the required fields. (If you already have a Fairfax County volunteer account, you can sign in with that.)
No! Training is Free! In addition, CERT students are given a backpack filled with disaster response and personal protective equipment, including a helmet, reflective vest, pry tool, headlamp, and more. Here is some of the provided gear: (Pictured: Reflective vest, duct tape, shears, safety whistle, glowstick, markers, gas shutoff tool, knee pads, dust mask )