FEMA IS-317: Introduction to CERT (Online)
“Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams,” IS-317, is an independent study course that serves as an introduction to CERT for those wanting to complete training or as a refresher for current team members. It takes between six and eight hours to complete the course. Those who successfully finish it will receive a certificate of completion. It has six modules with topics that include:
- Introduction to CERT
- Fire Safety
- Hazardous Material and Terrorist Incidents
- Disaster Medical Operations
IS-317 can be taken by anyone interested in CERT. However, to become a CERT volunteer, one must complete the classroom training offered by a local government agency such as the emergency management agency, fire or police department. Contact your local emergency manager to learn about the local education and training opportunities available to you. Let this person know about your interest in taking CERT training.
Click here to take the course.
In Class Basic Course Overview
The CERT Basic Course is delivered in the community by a team of first responders, and other qualified volunteers. The organization and timing of training and meeting varies from program to program. It is often broken up into two to four hour blocks over a series of evenings or weekends.
- Disaster Preparedness: Addresses hazards specific to the community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during and after a disaster as well as an overview of CERT and local laws governing volunteers.
- Fire Suppression: Covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, controlling utilities and extinguishing a small fire.
- Medical Operations Part I: Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.
- Medical Operations Part II: Covers evaluating patients by doing a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area and performing basic first aid.
- Light Search and Rescue Operations: Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques and rescuer safety.
- Psychology and Team Organization: Covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and workers, and addresses CERT organization and management.
- Course Review and Disaster Simulation: Participants review and practice the skills that they have learned during the previous six sessions in a disaster activity.