Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program


Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is a program designed to prepare Keizer residents to help themselves, their families and neighbors, in the event of a disaster. The training covers basic skills that are important to know in a disaster when emergency services are not available. Classes are taught in the spring and fall and are limited to 30 students per class.  There is no charge for this class and there is no requirement to join the CERT group long term.

During the training, CERT members learn about earthquake awareness, disaster fire suppression techniques, disaster medical operations, first aid, light search and rescue as well as team organization and management. CERT Training culminates with a disaster simulation and comprehensive course review. All classes are taught by trained emergency personnel, including firefighters, EMTs, subject matter experts and emergency medical services personnel, with an emphasis on hands-on practice.

The CERT program provides an effective first-response capability. Following a disaster, CERT teams can extinguish small fires, turn off gas inlets to damaged homes, perform light search and rescue and render basic first aid.

Classes are open to anyone who is interested in learning more about home and community preparedness.  We have a place for everyone who is interested in serving their community in times of crisis.

CERT Class Information

Following is a brief description of the CERT classes:

Introduction – Learn about the content of each course in the program. Learn about volunteer opportunities. Understand the CERT Program. Learn about the need for and components of personal and family disaster preparedness.

Organization and Management – Understand the basic principles of organization. Understand the government response structure during disaster. Understand the need for organizing the response of volunteers in disaster. Understand the basic principles of the Incident Command System (ICS). Understand the need for communication and documentation. Understand the need for safety awareness.

Fire Suppression – Recognize and eliminate fire hazards found in the home and work place. Recognize hazardous materials, their potential and identification methods. Identify the classes of fire. Understand basic fire chemistry. Learn correct fire extinguisher selection and use. Learn safety precautions during fire suppression operations. Learn about optional and additional firefighting resources.

Damage Assessment – Learn the need for Damage Assessment information. Identify what constitutes a Damage Assessment Survey. Learn how to conduct a Damage Assessment Survey. Learn how to record and report Damage Assessment information.

Standard First Aid – Covers the Adult CPR skills, but also includes a variety of first aid skills including first aid for bleeding, burns, epileptic seizures, heat and cold emergencies and what to do in diabetic emergencies.

Safety and Security – Recognize potential utility hazards. Identify which utility systems should be dealt with immediately and why. Learn how to identify unsafe structures. Learn how to prevent others from gaining access to unsafe areas. Learn how to develop an evacuation plan for your neighborhood. Learn about potential transportation resources available to you.

Simple Search and Rescue – Learn the principles of Simple Search and Rescue. Principles of Safety in a disaster operation. How to do a Size-up or Analysis of the situation. Learn about the need for knowing your personal limitations.

Sheltering and Special Needs – Learn about shelter operations. Learn how to arrange for potential shelter sites. Learn the needs people have when being sheltered.

Crisis Intervention – Learn about issues dealing with stress during disasters and disaster operations. Learn how to recognize when someone needs assistance. Learn how people react during disasters.

Final Exercise – Is intended to give participants of the CERT Program a chance to experience, hands-on, the training presented in the classroom. Activities include the use of fire extinguishers, team search of a smoke-filled area, lifting and cribbing a heavy object, and operating a fire hose.

For more information on the CERT program, contact Linda Pantalone, Program Coordinator at 503.551.2648 or email