Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Public Safety

What Is CERT?
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) are trained volunteers to help communities mitigate disasters during the first 72 hours following a disaster when damaged roads, disrupted communications, high call volume, etc., may restrict access by Professional Emergency Response Teams. The purpose of CERT training is to provide private citizens with the basic skills that they will need to handle virtually all of their own needs and then to respond to their community needs in the aftermath of a disaster.

Spanish Fork was the first community in the State of Utah to have a CERT team. Since 1994 Spanish Fork has qualified 382 persons with CERT training.

Spanish Fork CERT teams have been placed on standby when the Quail Creek Dam failed and again in 1997 with flooding in Lehi. Other incidents that have occurred in Spanish Fork that would have warranted CERT teams if they existed at the time include: Thistle Slide, propane tank accident on US 6, 100 year rain storm and flooding, Trojan fire, and several HAZMAT spills.

What Does the CERT Course Involve?
The course consists of 21 hours of training one night a week for seven weeks. Classes are taught by trained emergency personnel, including firefighters and EMT's.

The course agenda is as follows:

Week 1   Disaster Preparedness - Introduction to disasters, impact of disasters on infrastructure, hazards posed by buildings and non structural items, the role of CERT's in disaster response
Week 2   Disaster Fire Suppression - Identifying and reducing potential fire hazards, basic fire suppression strategy, firefighting resources, firefighting techniques.
Week 3   Disaster Medical Operations - Part 1 - Treatment strategies for life threatening conditions and principles of triage.
Week 4   Disaster Medical Operations - Part 2 - Head to toe assessments, treatment for head wounds, treatment for fractures, sprains, burns and other injuries.
Week 5   Light Search and Rescue Operations - Search and rescue priorities and resources, techniques for size-up and search, lifting, cribbing and removing victims, rescuer safety.
Week 6   Disaster Psychology and Team Organization - The post-disaster emotional environment, the Incident Command System, CERT strategies, tactics, and documentation.
Week 7   Course Review and Disaster Simulation Exercise

How Do I Get Involved?
For more information and to find out when the next class will be held, fill out the form at the following link: CERT Class Sign Up Form