CERT Training


Coronavirus Update

Please note:
Due to the potential for transmission of the coronavirus, the Santa Cruz County CERT Auxiliary is suspending in-person group activities indefinitely. We will reschedule in-person CERT courses and classes when it is again considered safe for group activity. In the meantime, we will be conducting classes online using the Zoom platform.
You are welcome to register for in-person Basic CERT courses and Continuing Education classes if we schedule them, but recognize that they may be postponed until a later date. We will contact you if the class is postponed, and you will be given top priority when the class is rescheduled.

Basic CERT Training Courses

The Basic CERT Training Course prepares you to handle disaster situations, at home and in your community. You will learn what to do on your own, and what to do as part of a CERT team.

When you complete the 21-hour Basic CERT Course, you receive a Disaster Service Worker (DSW) badge good for five (5) years. For re-certification, and to get an updated badge, here are the recertification guidelines and the steps to follow. Contact us if you need re-certification this year.

Currently scheduled Basic CERT courses (past courses may be found on the Events page):

Note: Approved registration is required for attendance. Minimum class enrollment is 20 students. Encourage your friends and neighbors to sign up for CERT classes with you! If there is insufficient enrollment, you will be notified two weeks prior to the class start date.

  • Check back to see when Basic CERT classes are scheduled
Subjects covered in the Basic CERT class

(Each class may cover these in a different order.)

1. Disaster Preparedness

  • Recent Disasters and Emergencies
  • Home and Workplace Preparedness
  • Community Preparedness

2. Fire Safety

  • Fire Chemistry
  • Fire and Utility Hazards
  • Fire Suppression (for small fires)
  • Hazardous Materials

3. Disaster First Aid

  • Treating Life-Threatening Conditions
  • Triage
  • Treating Injuries and Wounds
  • Disaster Psychology

4. CERT Organization

  • Mobilization
  • The CERT Team in Action

5. Light Search and Rescue

  • Building Construction
  • Conducting Search Operations
  • Conducting Rescue Operations

6. Review and Exercise

  • Course Review
  • Disaster Simulation
  • Final Exam

CERT Continuing Education Classes

Continuing education classes are held from time to time. They help CERT team members refresh skills learned in the Basic classes as well as learn new skills. Attendance at these classes counts towards the 20 hours of CERT training required for renewal of the DSW badge and CERT recertification every five years.

At all the evening continuing education sessions, CERT recertification will take place from 6:30–7:00 pm for those who need to update their badges. (Currently with the precautions for the coronavirus, please email certauxiliary@gmail.com about procedures to follow for recertification.)

Note: Unless otherwise specified, each Continuing Education class must have a minimum of 10 registered one week before the class begins, or it may be cancelled. You will be notified if the minimum has not been met.

  • Risk Management for the CERT Squad
    Presenter — John Collins, Team Leader Scotts Valley/Branciforte CERT
    How do CERTs size-up disaster situations? What are the risks involved? This class will take you through possible scenarios and outline steps to keeping your squad and survivors safe.
    — Thursday, July 9, 6:30–8:30 pm, on Zoom (Register)
  • MURS Radio Intermediate Class
    Presenter — Bob Fike, Emergency Coordinator, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), San Lorenzo Valley
    CERT radio communication allows for information to be gathered quickly and passed on to help make decisions on priority of response. In this intermediate class the discussion centers on radio wave propagation, making calls, CERT and ARES radio structure and radio accessories (possibilities of increasing range).
    — Monday, July 13, 7-8:30 pm, on Zoom (Register)
  • CERT Crowd and Traffic Management
    Presenter — Mark Sheldon, Safety Institute, nonprofit providing safety education nationwide
    Historically, traffic management is the number one reason CERTs are activated. Recent safety issues created requirements for breakaway and retroreflective vests, plus traffic management certification for CERTs to perform the task. The CERT Auxiliary is now collaborating with the Safety Institute, another nonprofit, developing a specific CERT course. The subjects included are intersection (including people crossing on highways), right of way, road closure, unexpected breakdowns and crowd monitoring events. This would be for both day- and night-time. Course graduates will receive Traffic Management Certification and a Caltrans-compliant safety vest. Space is limited.
    — Friday, July 24, 9-11:45 am, on Zoom, plus Hands-on session Saturday, July 25, 9-10:30 am (Register)
    — Friday, July 24, 9-11:45 am, on Zoom, plus Hands-on session Saturday, July 25, 11 am-12:30 pm (Register)The hands-on sessions will be at a location TBD, with masks and physical distancing. You must be able to attend both the Zoom session and one of the hands-on sessions.Note: Those previously enrolled in the advertised course cancelled because of coronavirus, and those who were on the wait list, will have enrollment priority.
  • Utility Safety and Handling Emergencies
    Presenter — Stew Roth, PG&E Community Representative
    Are you ready for power shut-offs and possible utility emergencies? PG&E representative Stew Roth presents an informative and engaging discussion dealing with gas and electric infrastructure, identifying utility hazards and risks, and recognizing emergencies and what to do about them.
    — Thursday, September 10, 7-8:30 pm, on Zoom (Register)

Emergency-related training available from other organizations may be found on our Resources page.