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FAIRFAX COUNTY CERT
The Community Emergency Response Team
(CERT) program helps train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency
situations in their communities. When emergencies happen, CERT members can give
critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims,
and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also
help with non-emergency projects that help improve the preparedness and safety
of the community.
The CERT training addresses disaster
preparedness, disaster fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations,
light search and rescue operations, and disaster psychology. The CERT training
is adjusted to accommodate the physical abilities and limitations of the
individual student. Safety is paramount to all CERT activities.
Fairfax County offers two levels of
CERT training. The CERT Basic course consists of nine Units over 20 hours of
instruction. Classroom sessions are complimented with hands-on drills and classroom
CERT Basic is taught in the community
by volunteer instructors. The CERT Level 2 course is conducted at the Fairfax
County Fire and Rescue Academy using the same classroom instruction
supplemented with more extensive drills and exercises using actual search and
rescue facilities. CERT 2 is taught by Fire Department instructors assisted by
CERT volunteer instructors. The CERT 2 courses culminate in a full-scale
exercise that uses a disaster training site and live actor-victims.
All CERT training is overseen by trained
instructors and first responders who have completed a CERT Train-the-Trainer
course conducted by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.