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 Sarasota Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Sarasota County Emergency Management is pleased to provide Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training for our businesses, community groups and citizens of Sarasota County. During the initial hours following the disaster, emergency personnel are overloaded, unable to reach areas or are short of personnel to respond.
CERT training gives you the decision-making and physical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors and business associates in an efficient and effective manner without placing yourself in unnecessary danger. You can make a difference by using the training. This program is the Nationally Accepted Federal Standard for community response team training.
What We Need From You:
your name
daytime telephone number
e-mail address
Total number of people to receive training.
What Is The Process?
Contact Sarasota County Emergency Management via the information provided above. We will include you in the email notification group for scheduled classes.
Key Points To Remember:
CERT Training is offered free of charge within the jurisdiction served by Sarasota County.
Students must complete all 25 hours of course work and participate in the final “hands on” exercise to become CERT certified. Seats in class are served in a first come, first served manner.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. They recognized that citizens would very likely be on their own during the early stages of a catastrophic disaster. Accordingly, LAFD decided that some basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills would improve the ability of citizens to survive until first responders or other assistance could arrive.
The training program that the LAFD initiated proved to be so beneficial that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) felt that the concept and the program should be made available to communities nationwide. In 1994, the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), in cooperation with the LAFD, expanded the CERT materials to make them applicable to all hazards.
In 2003, President Bush asked all Americans to volunteer in the service of their country. The Citizen Corps program was created to spearhead this effort to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds. CERT was selected as one of the primary programs offered to the American public to meet this challenge.
Sarasota County Emergency Management Division’s CERT Program was developed to support our community in this effort. Hurricane Charley taught us how important preparedness and response are to surviving a disaster. Empowered by this unique training, people from community organizations, businesses industry, schools and city and county employees can assemble as a CERT, or perform as individual leaders in the initial phase of a disaster.
Since Oct. 2004, Sarasota County has CERT certified more than 1000 Sarasota community volunteers including teams from:
  • The Meadows
  • Newtown Front Porch Association
  • Hyatt
  • Sarasota Military Academy
  • Longboat Key
  • Isles opf Palmer Ranch
  • Glen Oaks
  • Village Walk
This successful program continues to evolve and expand.The benefits of this program are numerous. CERT has increased the overall level of public disaster readiness in Sarasota County, provided emergency skills that people may use in day-to-day emergencies, enhanced the bond between government and populace, and increased community spirit.The course consists of 25 hours, with major emphasis given to hands-on training. The curriculum consists of the following:
UNIT 1 Disaster preparedness
Disaster preparedness / recent disasters
Hazard mitigation
UNIT 2  Fire safety
Fire chemistry
Fire fighting resources / fire suppression safety
Reducing hazards in the home and workplace
Hazardous material
UNIT 3 Disaster medical operations 1
Recognizing and treating life-threatening conditions
Disaster medical operations  2
Functions of disaster medical operations
Establishing treatment areas
Treating wounds, burns, etc.
UNIT 5 Light search and rescue operations
Search and rescue size-up
Conducting search operations
Conducting rescue operations
UNIT 6 CERT Organization
CERT organization, decision making and documentation
UNIT 7 Disaster psychology
Team well being 
Working with survivors trauma
UNIT 8 Terrorism and CERT
What is terrorism?
Terrorist targets
B-NICE indicators
CERTS and terrorist incidents
UNIT 9 Course review and disaster simulation
Course review
Disaster simulation
A refresher and recertification class is held annually by Sarasota County Emergency Management for all CERT certified members, giving CERT members a chance to maintain and sharpen their skills.

Sarasota County, Florida
TTY: 7-1-1
or 1-800-955-8771
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