What is CERT?
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a training program that prepares you to help yourself, your family, those in your workplace and your neighbors in the event of a disaster. During an incident, emergency service personnel may not be able to reach everyone right away. By getting trained in CERT, you will have the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property.
The North Richland Hills Office of Emergency Management coordinates the training and activities of the North Richland Hills Community Emergency Response Teams.
As a trained CERT member, you can respond to disasters, participate in drills and exercises and take additional training. CERT is a known and trusted resource to emergency responders and their communities. After disasters, trained CERT personnel helped drive and walk the impacted areas to quickly gather damage assessment information that is integral to the recovery process. The damage information they obtain will assist in establishing eligibility for North Richland Hills residents to obtain assistance.
In February of 2010, CERT members helped strengthen the response of North Richland Hills OEM by participating in a full-scale drill and walking door-to-door to distribute information in an area of the county which, for the purposes of the drill, a total loss of communication to residents was simulated.
What other things do CERT teams do in an emergency?
Under the direction of North Richland Hills Office of Emergency Management and local response agencies, CERT teams can provide critical support by giving immediate assistance to victims, providing damage assessment information and organizing other volunteers at a disaster site. Volunteers trained in CERT can also offer a potential workforce for performing duties such as shelter support, crowd control and evacuation. The role of a CERT volunteer is to help others until trained emergency personnel arrive.
How does CERT help the community?
The CERT program builds strong working relationships between emergency responders and the people they serve. CERT teams also help the community year-round by helping with community emergency plans, neighborhood exercises, preparedness outreach, education and safety awareness.
The training is free and open to civic-minded North Richland Hills residents over 18 years of age or 16 years old with a parent attending. A valid Texas Drivers License and a criminal background check is required.
CERT takes an investment of time but the training is free: The initial CERT Course is one night each week for eight weeks with the possibility of a couple of Saturdays.Once you have completed the basic course, you are encouraged to attend the intermediate course. Graduates of the intermediate course are provided with a CERT go-kit – an impressive backpack full of preparedness tools. The training provides critical skills in emergency preparedness and response. Participants learn how to:
• Identify and anticipate hazards
• Reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace
• Extinguish small fires
• Assist emergency responders
• Conduct light search and rescue
• Set up medical treatment areas in a team response environment
• Apply basic medical techniques
• Help reduce survivor stress
After graduation, CERT members are encouraged to further their training by attending CERT Continuing Education Classes offered one night a month for each of the twelve months.
Who should take CERT training?
• People interested in taking an active role in North Richland Hills preparedness
• Neighborhood Watch groups
• Community leaders
• Communities of faith
• Homeowner Associations
• Scouting and youth organizations
• Teachers and administrators
• College students
• Members of clubs & civic organizations
• Private business owners and their employees
The CERT program is an integral part of Citizen Corps, the grass-roots movement that actively involves everyone in making our communities and nation safer, stronger, and better prepared. All over America, communities have organized groups such as the North Richland Hills CERT to inspire people to take action and get involved. North Richland Hills is a grateful recipient of DHS/Citizen Corps Program grant funds from the Texas Division of Emergency Management.