CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)


The CERT concept dates back to 1985, when the Los Angeles Fire Department recognized that in the early stages of a disaster – earthquakes in particular – local emergency responders would be overwhelmed, and basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills would improve the ability of community members to survive until responders or other assistance arrived. 

Recognizing the universal value of this program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worked in conjunction with the LAFD to make the CERT program applicable to all types of hazards and developed a CERT training program which could be used nationwide and adapted to meet local conditions when the need arose. 

The tragic events of September 11 remind us that disaster can strike anywhere or anytime, and that basic safety and disaster survival skills can mean the difference between life and death. CERT training empowers community members to prepare responsibly and respond appropriately when emergencies occur. 


CERT members give critical support to first responders in emergencies, provide immediate assistance to victims, organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site, and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts. 


If you join a CERT, you will receive basic-level training in the following areas: 

  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Disaster Medical Operations
  • Fire Suppression
  • Light Search and Rescue Operations
  • CERT Operations/Incident Command System
  • Disaster Psychology
  • Terrorism Awareness
  • Community Animal Response Team
  • Disaster Simulation -- Skills Review

Total training is usually about 20 hours, scheduled in 2-4 hour modules, over a period of weeks or months, in order to address the scheduling needs of team members. It's held in the community or county where you live. 

Training courses, student materials and equipment are provided free of charge.

Fair Lawn CERT

Fair Lawn is fortunate to have over 40 CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) volunteers.

If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community’s professional response team, Fair Lawn CERT members assist others until help arrives. They are trained in first aid/CPR, shelter management, fire suppression, traffic and crowd control, Emergency Operations Center management and many other areas of emergency rescue. CERT members can be identified by their green vests, and often cooperate with the Police Department assisting with traffic control during community events.

If you are interested in becoming a CERT member, call the Office of Emergency Management, 201-794-5392 or CERT Leader Nancy Brouca at fairlawncert@fairlawn.org for further information.

Last Updated: Thu, 05/23/2019 - 10:52am