Become a CERT Volunteer
The Alameda Fire Department (AFD) is hosting its first Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) training for 2014. Enrollment is now open for the six-part program, which will begin on Saturday, Jan. 25.
The program provides Alameda residents and business employees with training that increases self-sufficiency in a disaster. Participants learn skills that enable them to assist their families and neighbors while becoming more disaster resilient. The basic training courses are through a nationwide program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Alameda firefighters will instruct the classes.
Upon completion, trainees are eligible for swearing in as certified disaster service workers. They will receive emergency kits, hard hats, uniform vests and backpacks. They will be assigned to one of the four CERT districts in Alameda depending on where they live or work. They are also encouraged to work with existing neighborhood or work-related teams.
Experienced CERT graduates also conduct additional training classes and exercises, which include urban and building search and rescue and radio communications
Graduates are invited to be on CERTs on-call team to assist AFD and the Alameda Police Department with non-disaster problems.
Some of these assignments include searching for missing persons.
As of Dec. 31, APD called out CERT team members to assist with five missing-persons searches in town. Most recently was a five-hour search on Dec 28 with 16 volunteers helping out.
In case of a large fire or evacuation, the Red Cross may need to open a shelter in town. CERT members have been trained by the Red Cross in shelter operations.
Classes are held at the AFD training center at 431 Stardust Place on Alameda Point. Students must complete all six classes to graduate, anyone who misses one session can make that session up in the next class.
To sign up for the session beginning Jan. 25, call AFD’s disaster preparedness office at 337-2121.