By Shelly Siegel, Office of National Capital Region Coordination
Over 45 participants representing 19 federal departments and agencies attended the first Federal Workplace Community Emergency Response Team Train-the-Trainer course at the end of September.
In a joint initiative, FEMA’s Office of National Capital Region Coordination and the CERT Program Office in the Individual and Community Preparedness Division held a CERT Train-the Trainer course delivered by FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute at the George Washington University in Washington.
CERT is a FEMA program that trains individuals to work in teams to safely assist coworkers, neighbors, or anyone who needs help during a widespread emergency when professional responders may not be able to reach everyone as soon as help is needed.
CERT members are volunteers who give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at the site of an emergency. CERT training includes emergency preparedness, fire suppression, basic medical operations, and light search-and-rescue operations.
Local CERT programs in the U.S. are sponsored and operated by employers, Workplace CERT, local fire or police departments, Neighborhood CERT, colleges/universities, Campus CERT, and high schools.
The Workplace CERT model can be used at federal departments and agencies to enable teams of trained volunteers to take action immediately during an emergency, building on existing workplace emergency programs.
This Train-the-Trainer course is a resource for federal departments and agencies interested in teaching basic CERT training or establishing their own workplace CERT teams. If you would like more information, please contact Alex Yesnik or Cheri Roe.