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Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

About the program

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program in Santa Ana educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire suppression, light search and rescue and disaster medical operations.

Using the training learned in the classroom and during practical exercises, CERT graduates will be able to assist others in their neighborhood or workplace immediately following an event when professional emergency responders are not immediately available to take action.

CERT Courses

CERT training is provided free of charge, but participants must complete the entire course of instruction (approximately 20 hours) and pre-registration is required for each class. The City of Santa Ana will offer courses several times a year in English and Spanish versions. CERT courses in Santa Ana are produced in a collaborative effort by the City of Santa Ana, Santa Ana Police Department and Orange County Fire Authority. CERT training is delivered using a nationally recognized curriculum developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

What you'll learn

  • Identify and anticipate hazards in the community
  • Reduce fire or earthquake hazards in the home and workplace
  • Extinguish small fires
  • Conduct light search and rescue
  • Set up medical treatment areas
  • Provide disaster first aid
  • Assist emergency responders
  • Help reduce survivor stress

CERT Teams

CERT teams are locally based and usually organized through neighborhood associations or large workplaces. These local CERT teams may activate during a catastrophic event, like an earthquake, when damage to transportation and communications systems makes it difficult for public safety agencies to coordinate a centralized response. CERT graduates can take the information and skills gained in the course back to their neighborhood or workplace and organize a CERT team for their area. Or residents may also take the course for their own preparedness efforts with no obligation to serve on a CERT team.

Who to contact for more information

For more information on CERT training in Santa Ana please contact Steve Rhyner, Emergency Operations Coordinator at or (714) 647-5315.

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