San Lorenzo Valley
Community Emergency Response Team

What is CERT?

CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and the CERT mantra: Do the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency situations where citizens initially will be on their own and their actions can make a difference. Citizens can be trained to manage utilities and put out small fires; treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims safely; and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.

The CERT training was started by the Los Angeles Fire Department after its study of the Mexico City earthquake. Since 1993, when the training was made available nationally by FEMA, CERT teams have been trained throughout 50 states and territories.

How Do I Get CERT Training?

These classes are free, so if you would like to schedule a CERT training for your neighborhood or business, first make a list of all the people that are interested in taking the course with you. A minimum of 10 people is required for a class, and a maximum of 20. Scheduling is flexible. Next, call the Felton CERT Coordinator, Ray Soler, at the Felton Fire Station (831) 335-4422, or contact him by using this FORM. He will schedule training dates and times for your group.

Download CERT Brochure.

Download CERT Class Schedule

First Aid/CPR Classes

First Aid / CPR classes are free to District residents, and employees of businesses within the district. There is a $36.00 fee for all others. call the Felton CERT Coordinator, Ray Soler, at the Felton Fire Station (831) 335-4422, or contact him by using this FORM, to sign up for the next available class.

  • First Aid/CPR
    • Held Monthly
    • Usually the 3rd Saturday. Call the fire station for the date.

Help in an Emergency

A major disaster is coming sometime. It might be an earthquake, landslide, flood, wildfire, tsunami, or other serious occurrence.

When a widespread disaster strikes, emergency agencies are likely to be over- whelmed. People will have to rely on each other for hours or even days. Under these conditions, experience shows that family members, neighbors, and co-workers will try to help.

Following the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. In the chaos, though, 100 of the rescuers lost their lives. This is too high a price to pay, because training can prevent such tragedy.

Even in a less serious emergency, is there a way to have trained local volunteers come to their neighbors' aid? CERT-ainly.

In Santa Cruz County the Public Health Department has the Santa Cruz County Emergency Survival Guide on their website. This Guide will help you to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters that face Santa Cruz County. Our goal is to provide tips that assist you to be self-sufficient after a disaster.

What Does CERT Do?

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) are trained to provide emergency preparedness information in their neighborhoods. CERT members are also trained in life-saving skills, with emphasis on decision-making ability, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number.

People who have taken the CERT training are better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Trained individuals and teams are ready to:

  • provide immediate assistance to victims in their neighborhood
  • organize spontaneous, untrained volunteers to provide needed services
  • collect disaster intelligence to assist professional responders who are trying to allocate limited resources

Training is conducted by firefighters or other trained CERT leaders. Sessions are usually scheduled either on successive weekends or weekday evenings. Training sessions will address:

  1. Disaster Preparedness

    • actions to take before, during, and after a disaster
    • how to operate in a safe and appropriate manner
    • CERT concept and organization, as well as applicable laws governing volunteers
  2. Fire Suppression

    • safe use of fire extinguishers
    • sizing up the situation
    • controlling utilities
    • extinguishing a small fire
  3. Medical Aid

    • diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock, using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques
    • head-to-toe assessment for patient evaluation
    • establishing a medical treatment area and performing basic first aid in a safe and sanitary manner

  4. Search and Rescue

    • planning, size-up, search techniques, and rescue techniques
    • rescuer safety
  5. Disaster Psychology and Team Organization

    • signs and symptoms that might be experienced by disaster victims and workers
    • CERT organization, management principles, and the need for documentation
  6. Disaster Simulation

    • hands-on practice with skills learned during training sessions
  7. Terrorism Response

    • terrorism threats and strategies in response, provided by the Office of Homeland Security