CERT Training


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.

  • Aptos — Feb 4, 11, 18, 25, 29
    There will be a Basic CERT Course in Aptos on Tuesdays Feb 4, 11, 18, and 25 from 6:30–10:00 pm, and Saturday Feb 29 from 8:45 am–5:00 pm at Aptos/La Selva Firehouse, 6934 Soquel Dr, Aptos. (Outline | Register)
  • Loma Prieta — Mar 5, 12, 19, 26, 28
    There will be a Basic CERT Course at the Summit on Thursdays Mar 5, 12, 19, and 26 from 6:30–10:00 pm, and Saturday Mar 28 from 8:45 am–5:00 pm at Loma Prieta School, 23800 Summit Rd. (Outline | Register)
  • Santa Cruz — Apr 7, 14, 21, 28, May 2
    There will be a Basic CERT Course in Santa Cruz on Tuesdays Apr 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 6:30–10:00 pm at City of Santa Cruz Emergency Operations Center, De Laveaga Park, 495 Upper Park Road, Santa Cruz, and Saturday May 2 from 8:45 am–5:00 pm at Aptos/La Selva Firehouse, 6934 Soquel Dr, Aptos. (Outline | Register)
  • Live Oak — May 5, 12, 19, 26, 30
    There will be a Basic CERT Course in Live Oak on Tuesdays May 5, 12, 19, and 26 from 6:30–10:00 pm at Central Fire, 930 – 17th Ave, Live Oak, and Saturday May 30 from 8:45 am–5:00 pm at Aptos/La Selva Firehouse, 6934 Soquel Dr, Aptos. (Outline | Registration will open March 1)
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 5 hours of CERT training per year required for recertification of the DSW badge 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.

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.

  • April 4: Active Shooter — What to do!
    Prepare for an Active Shooter scenario. Learn a survival mindset, planning ahead, decision making and run, hide and fight strategies. Saturday, April 4, 10–11:30 am at Felton Firehouse, 131 Kirby St, Felton. Presented by Marsha Hovey, Emergency Management Consultant, Training and Public Education. Please be aware this class will show graphic videos that may not be appropriate for all. (Register)
  • April 18: Crowd and Traffic Management Course (Watsonville)
  • Utility Safety and Handling Emergencies
    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.
    Felton — Wednesday, June 3, 7-9 pm, Felton Fire House, 131 Kirby St (Register)
    Live Oak — Thursday, September 10, 7-9 pm, Central Fire Community Room, 930 17th Av (Register)

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