The Community Emergency Response Team, or "CERT," was established in 2003. The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District was the first agency in the Sacramento Region to establish a CERT program. Metro Fire continues to be a leader in the region through its use of Professional Responders as subject matter experts during training modules and willingness to incorporate the CERT program into the emergency operations within the District.
Metro Fire offers citizens the full FEMA Community Emergency Response Team training. The CERT training consists of 24 hours of lecture and hands-on skill training to assist in preparing citizens to take care of themselves, their family and if they choose their neighborhood during a catastrophic event. Currently, the Metro Fire CERT training is held quarterly over the course of two weeks – two Thursday evenings and two Saturdays and is offered free to all citizens who live or work in the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County including the cities of Citrus Heights and Rancho Cordova. Teenagers age 13-17 are welcome with an adult or guardian.
Citizens who complete the basic 24-hour CERT training have the choice of becoming a member of the Metro Fire CERT program. As a member, participants are eligible to attend additional training including Wildland Urban Interface, Flood/Swiftwater Awareness and Hazardous Materials First Responder Awareness modules.
Metro Fire CERT members have become an invaluable affiliated volunteer arm of Metro Fire and have served in numerous capacities including staffing the Sacramento County Emergency Operation Center, Sacramento County Sand Bag Stations and as a resource to other Public Safety agencies along with volunteering numerous hours within the communities during Operation River Safe, Smoke Detector and Battery Installation programs and community events serving as Outreach liaisons and Stand-By First Aid. Metro Fire CERT members also assist with the deployment of the Sacramento Urban Search & Rescue Task Force (CA TF-7).
The Metro Fire CERT Training Includes:
- What your local risks are and what you need to do to prepare
- How to manage utilities, hazardous materials, and put out small fires using the appropriate Fire Extinguisher
- How to use "START Triage" and how to treat the "Three Medical Killers" by: opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock
- How to provide basic medical aid
- How to effectively search for and rescue victims safely
- How to organize yourself and spontaneous volunteers to be effective as a team and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts
- Disaster Psychology
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