I went through CERT training in early 2019, but seems like folks went their separate ways afterwards and the local EMA sponsor lost interest. There’s a number of CERT teams in our area according to the FEMA CERT website, but a random phone call to the numbers listed result in either “no longer in service” or “we don’t do that anymore.”
If you’ve been through CERT training, what was your experience afterwards? Is your group still active?
hikermor - January 13, 2023
Our community follows a “catch and release’ model. I did CERT training a few years ago – and no continuing group has been formed. If CERT is ever utilized, we will all be strangers – not the best way to work productively
underprepraccoon - January 14, 2023
I did it maybe a decade ago, I know maybe 2 of the people that I could possibly contact maybe with some digging.
It’s deff an oversight, cuz a decently trained person with only the basics can only do so much without other people with any training.
I did do the train the trainer thing but never used it
Seasons4 - January 14, 2023
Overcaffeinated, I went through basic CERT in a state different from where I’m living now. Some of the instructors were amateur radio operators and encouraged CERT graduates to get their amateur radio license. From there, people were encouraged to get into amateur radio emergency response organizations.
I’d call it the CERT “catch and release” model, with no expectation that the CERT basic graduates would be a cohesive group after the class. The CERT organizers taught a class each year. People with a strong interest in preparedness were encouraged to continue learning and bonding with others in a different venue.
Seasons4 - January 14, 2023
Typo — I meant emergency communications, not emergency response
pnwsarahContributor - January 15, 2023
I feel like something similar happened, not necessarily by design, in my CERT program: The people who were really serious about learning the stuff (and, frankly, more competent) tended to get into ham radio, and there was another group (connected to CERT) of licensed amateur radio operators who the county could draft into service in a disaster. My likely next move is to get my license and contact the folks I knew in CERT who were in that group and move forward that way.
pnwsarahContributor - January 14, 2023
My county has enough of a formalized CERT program that they can direct basic training grads to neighborhood-specific sub-groups. It does not have enough of a formalized CERT program to mentor the leaders of those neighborhood-specific sub-groups or provide examples of or templates for activities the groups can do together to advance their training. My neighborhood group was not well managed, and the meetings really tried my patience, so I am hesitant to plug back in. :/
wildfireexpert - January 15, 2023
Hi, overcaffeinated — “Catch and release” is a common model that is used to train individuals how to cope with disaster scenarios and possibly spread that knowledge to help neighbors/family in a disaster. I trained in CERT about 14 years ago when I retired. Our particular group is VERY active with drills, etc., and has a superb network of HAM enthusiasts. Our training Captain at the Fire Station said each person trained is one less person to rescue when emergency responders are spread too thin.
I participated in continuing ed and classes and drills and presentations to the general public until 2 years ago when I told my CERT group that I was quitting because my health would make me a liability instead of a resource in a disaster situation. In my extended family of 6 adults, all of us have CERT experience. In my opinion, CERT is the single greatest way to prep!
Black Club - January 29, 2023
One for our UK members, is there any form of CERT style training in Britain?
Black Club - March 15, 2023
Okay, this is what I’ve found so far for UK based training in a similar style to CERT
online training is done through Protrainings.co.uk
They have a few FREE training courses as well, here is the most relevant, a 45 minute guide to dealing with knife wounds
Its basic, and is advertising some of their products, but its free and shows you the quality of their courses.
Eric - March 15, 2023
Those look like good sources for classes in other countries as well.
Along the same lines, ThePrepared also has several online classes. I’m taking the Austere First Aid class, which is very well done. There are also courses on preparedness basics, obtaining drinking water, and knife sharpening.
Ockham - March 27, 2023
My local CERT group performs a wide range of volunteer work, from food banks to providing first aid or traffic control at events, in between activations. It seems like a good way to build familiarity between members as well as inform the public of their existence.
overcaffeinated - March 27, 2023
Kudos to your sponsor and teams. The key is keeping the teams engaged. I heard a comment a few years back that folks were dropping out of the teams because they were never activated and the sponsor did just the minimum training events to stay certified. It’s definitely a commitment.
Alicia - April 1, 2023
That’s great Ockham! Our training was just last year and it was their first class in that region. I’ve not see any attempt to organize any event support including being activated. Catch and Release style. I didn’t realize there is a training frequency to stay certified. makes sense. How often is it?
Ockham - April 4, 2023
Hi Alicia! I’m not sure how often the basic CERT training requires renewal, if it does – I think they’ve traditionally worked off the Catch and Release style you mentioned. They do monthly trainings, but they’re not mandatory and are mostly done over Zoom. Their big change came when Covid hit and they stepped up to help out with a lot of support tasks for local agencies and NGOs. They’ve worked hard to maintain those relationships with their volunteer work.
overcaffeinated - April 6, 2023
Each CERT program must go through at least one exercise and one training session each year to be “official.” No mention if they can be combined, or the minimum number of participants. Participants are not required to go back through training but if you don’t go through an exercise each year, you should consider going through it periodically.
Alicia - April 7, 2023
Thanks overcaffeinated – I probably misled you by saying region. It was the first in the specific city that is part of a much larger metro area. The metro area fire department ran the CERT training. The smaller city FD also supported but hasn’t kept in contact with the group or otherwise maintained connection. I’m not even sure how they would call us to duty. I know the CERT program will remain official. I think I need to find a different location/group to keep my own training current.
How often I need to retrain to be considered certified was part of my question. I know that’s a different answer than how often to be competent – not sure I’m truly that after once through. Ha!
And Ockham, that is great that your group has been requested to help with area organizations. Great idea to keep the CERT team connected and engaged. The monthly training topics do that as well even if they’re on Zoom. I’m a bit green with envy – I need to find my tribe.
Bigwig - April 2, 2023
Our local CERT meets regularly for class training and events for CERT members to volunteer. They make an effort to bring the team together with activities after training exercises like a BBQ lunch. I bowed out after they wanted me to sign a form with some rather troubling language.
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