When disaster strikes many San Bernardino County residents will not only survive, but will be prepared to help others in their communities. These residents are part of the San Bernardino County Fire, Office of Emergency Services’ (County Fire OES) Fire Corps Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. In a catastrophic disaster, first responders will likely be overwhelmed in the first hours and even days following a catastrophic disaster. CERT-trained professional volunteers learn important skills to safely care for themselves, their families and their community until first responders arrive.

The FEMA standardized curriculum educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization using Incident Command System (ICS) concepts, disaster medical operations, disaster psychology and terrorism. The course culminates with a disaster simulation to afford participants the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned. Training typically takes about 20 hours to complete.

While thousands throughout San Bernardino County have received the free training, many decide to become credentialed professional volunteers under County Fire OES. These members are located in many communities throughout the county and are identified by their County Fire OES identification card. These credentialed members have cleared both DOJ and FBI background checks, completed additional ICS training and are registered as Disaster Service Workers with the State of California.

Our CERT teams, organized under the supervision of a local volunteer who acts as the CERT Volunteer Coordinator and a local CERT Fire Liaison from County Fire or another partner agency, receive ongoing training throughout the year to hone existing skills and learn new ones. San Bernardino County Firefighters have been an integral part of the success of the program and have provided outstanding initial and ongoing training. County Fire OES CERT members meet regularly in their community and participate in many events around their local community and the county.

Come join our dedicated professional volunteers and become part of a team dedicated to serving our communities county wide!