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What is the Community Emergency Response Team?#

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a volunteer program that is operated by the City of Fort Collins Emergency Preparedness and Security office. CERT specializes in educating volunteers on disaster preparedness for the hazards that are going to impact Fort Collins, and basic disaster response skills.

This team is limited to residents of Fort Collins, and those living outside the City should reach out to their local Emergency Management program for information on their local CERT.

What do I learn in CERT?#

The CERT course consists of 20 hours of education, both in the classroom and hands-on. These sessions are taught by EPS staff, professional first responders, and other qualified volunteers! Our CERT Classes cover the following topics:

  • Citizens Awareness Program - Students will cover how to identify signs of terrorism and criminal activity, while protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • CERT Organization - Students will learn how CERT is structured and receive a basic lesson on the Incident Command System (ICS) that first responders use during incident response.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  • Disaster Preparedness - Students learn about the hazards facing Fort Collins. They also cover the steps that they and their families should take before, during, and after a disaster.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Fire Safety - Students will cover how fire begins and how it grows. Students will also learn how to handle a fire extinguisher, the differences between fire extinguishers, and how to extinguish a small fire. Students will also gain basic knowledge about hazardous materials.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
  • Light Search and Rescue - Students will cover sizing up a structure before entering, search and rescue techniques, and safety techniques when engaging in such efforts.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  • Medical Operations - Students learn how to diagnose and treat afflictions such as airway obstructions, bleeding, and shock through simple triage and treatment. Students will also learn how to conduct a head-to-toe assessment and perform basic first aid.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  • Psychology - Students will learn the signs and symptoms related to psychological distress that may be experienced either by those they are assisting, their fellow CERT members, or themselves.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Disaster Simulation - Students will put all of their lessons to the test and practice the skills they've learned in a simulated CERT activation.