Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

What is CERT?

The Florida Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates residents 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.

Using the training from the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhoods or workplaces following an event. CERT members are trained and trusted volunteers and valuable partners of the whole community.

Members of the Seminole Community Emergency Response Team stand in front of a truck as one member gives instructions.
Training and exercise is provided to CERT members, with opportunities for advancement and participation in regional CERT operations.

How does CERT benefit the community?

People who go through CERT training better understand the potential threats to their home, workplace and community. They can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or their workplace.

If a disaster overwhelms local emergency responders, CERT members apply their skills to give critical support to family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until help arrives. When help does arrive, CERT members provide useful information to responders and may continue to support their efforts at the disaster site.

CERT members can also assist with non-emergency projects that improve the community’s safety. CERTs have distributed and installed smoke alarms, replaced smoke alarm batteries in the homes of disabled and elderly residents, distributed disaster education material, provided services at special events and supported community projects

Becoming a member of CERT

To become a CERT volunteer, you must complete the Basic CERT training offered by local CERT programs. Contact your nearest CERT program to learn about the local education and training opportunities available to you.

Pinellas County CERT programs

Pinellas County has several active CERT programs that support local fire departments.

For information

For information about a CERT program in your community or if you are interested in starting a new CERT program in your neighborhood, business, faith-based organization or community, email or call (727) 464-3800.