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What is CERT

  • Community Emergency Response Team

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

cert_logoWhat is CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)? It is a volunteer program that educates people about disaster preparedness.

Topics include hazards that can impact a community, basic disaster response skills, fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. After completing training requirements, CERT members will have the skills and knowledge to assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an emergency event. 

Fort Lauderdale’s CERT program will train you to respond to emergencies in your neighborhood.

Following a disaster it’s natural for citizen volunteers to want to help.  However without appropriate training volunteers can be ineffective or even worse, they risk causing injury or death to themselves or others.

With CERT training, you will learn to safely assist yourself, your family and neighbors using basic emergency response and organizational skills.  These skills will help save and sustain lives until professional rescue personnel arrive.                            

How CERT Training Works

Fort Lauderdale’s CERT is organized according to standardized incident management principles, including chain of command and span of control. As a CERT volunteer, you will be able to work closely with emergency personnel and other CERT members serving residents in your own neighborhood and if you choose to be involved further, you will be eligible for disaster assignments throughout the City.

Once you have successfully completed your CERT training, you’ll have a better understanding of the potential risks to your home, neighborhood and workplace.  This knowledge will enable you to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazards in a more effective and efficient manner.

CERT training will enable you to provide critical emergency services, including: 

CERT Car Crash

  • Establishing a command post
  • Basic first aid
  • Fire suppression
  • Assessing assigned areas
  • Performing light search & rescue and triage

When professional help does arrive, you can provide useful information to responders and support their efforts.

As a CERT member, you can also volunteer to assist with non-emergency projects that improve the safety and welfare of the community.


  • Introduction to Emergency Preparedness
  • Disaster Psychology & Operations
  • Basic Fire Suppression
  • Disaster Medical Operations I
  • Disaster Medical Operations II
  • Terrorism
  • Light Search & Rescue
  • Course Review & Graduation

Continuing Education Courses 

Following graduation, CERT members are eligible to sign-up for continuing education courses such as CPR, advanced medical techniques, refresher courses, etc.

For more information about CERT, or to register for a class, please call the Domestic Preparedness & Emergency Management Bureau at 954-828-6700  or email at

Reference: Ft

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