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.

  • Live Oak — Mar 13, 20, 26, Apr 3, 6
    There will be a Basic CERT Course in Live Oak on Wednesdays Mar 13 and 20, Tuesday Mar 26, and Wednesday Apr 3 from 6:30–10:00 pm, and Saturday April 6 from 9:00 am–5:00 pm at Central Fire, 930 – 17th Ave, Santa Cruz. Note: we are no longer accepting enrollments for this class. (Outline)
  • Zayante — Apr 4, 11, 18, 25, 27
    There will be a Basic CERT Course in Zayante on Thursdays Apr 4, 11, 18, and 25 from 6:30–10:00 pm, and Saturday April 27 from 9:00 am–5:00 pm at Zayante Fire Station, 7700 E. Zayante Rd, Felton. (Outline | Register)
  • Watsonville — April 24, May 1, 8, 15, 18
    There will be a Basic CERT Course in Watsonville on Wednesdays April 24, May 1, 8, and 15 from 6:30–10:00 pm, and Saturday May 18 from 9:00 am–5:00 pm at Marinovich Community Center, 120 Second St, Watsonville. (Outline | Register)
  • Felton — Jun 6, 12, 20, 27, 29 — Cancelled
    The Felton class scheduled for June has been canceled. If you can attend the Zayante class in April, that would be a good alternative. We anticipate scheduling another class in Felton in late fall.
  • Live Oak — Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 26
    There will be a Basic CERT Course in Live Oak on Tuesdays Oct 1, 8, 15, and 22 from 6:30–10:00 pm, and Saturday Oct 26 from 9:00 am–5:00 pm at Central Fire, 930 – 17th Ave, Santa Cruz. (Outline | Register)
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.

Aptos sessions will take place at the Firehouse (6934 Soquel Dr). If firehouse parking is filled, use the Mar Vista Elementary School lot next door.
Felton sessions will take place at the Firehouse (131 Kirby St).
Ben Lomond sessions will take place at the Firehouse (9430 Hwy 9).

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 — Extraction Techniques and Carries
    When is it safe to remove an injured person and how do you go about it? Learn extraction techniques and different types of carries to transport the victim to safety. Attend this class on “Extraction Techniques and Carries.” Classes limited to 20 students.
    Aptos — Tuesday, Apr 9, 7-9:30 pm (Register)
    Ben Lomond — Wednesday, Apr 10, 7-9:30 pm (Register)
  • May — Map Your Neighborhood
    In a disaster, your neighbors are your closest source of help. This “Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) Workshop” will help you organize your neighborhood and teaches neighbors to rely on each other during the hours or days before emergency responders arrive. It takes just one person to begin this process by inviting the neighborhood to his or her home for a 90-minute meeting facilitated by the program DVD.
    Aptos — Wednesday, May 22, 7-9 pm (Register)
  • June — Complex Splinting Techniques
    Interested in learning more about splinting by using found materials and the use of the multipurpose triangle bandage? Explore simple to complex splints in the “Complex Splinting Techniques” class. Classes limited to 20 students.
    Aptos — Tuesday, Jun 25, 7-9:30 pm (Register)
    Ben Lomond — Wednesday, Jun 26, 7-9:30 pm (Register)
  • July — Pet Care
    Find out how to care for your pets and provide basic first aid for them in an emergency or disaster. Learn about insect bite reaction, heat stroke, foxtails, animal bites, choking and many other  issues. Taught by veterinarian Christi Blackwolf.
    Felton — Saturday, Jul 13, 10 am-noon (Register)
    Aptos — Sunday, Jul 14, 10 am-noon (Register)

Emergency Response Family Training

A 1-1/2-hour session to help you and your family develop an Emergency Plan and Supply Kit. Currently scheduled sessions:

  • Watsonville — Apr 17
    Wednesday, Apr 17 from 7:00–8:30 pm at Marinovich Community Center, 120 – 2nd St, Watsonville. Class will be taught in Spanish and children are welcome to attend. (La clase se impartirá en español. Los niños son bienvenidos.) (Flyer – English | Flyer – español | Register)

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