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Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

In the wake of a disaster, “professional” fire and medical responders may be unavailable due to debris and road damage.  There may be an overwhelming need for emergency response in all areas of the city. Learning basic disaster skills would help you lessen the impact of disaster on your family and neighbors until assistance arrives.

Community Emergency Response Team LogoThe goal of the CERT program is to provide for community self-sufficiency in a post disaster environment.

  • Download our CERT program flyer ( Pdf )
  • Visit the CERT website.

Course Description:

CERT is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” The 24 hours of instruction can provide a trained volunteer work force in your neighborhood. Our “ideal” CERT member is anyone who desires to learn the skills to assist themselves and their neighbors during a disaster. The class meets one evening per week for eight weeks. Please wear weather-appropriate clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. The course consists of:

  • Class 1: Disaster Preparedness: natural disaster threat to our area, impact of disasters on the infrastructure, and the role of CERTs in disaster response.
  • Class 2: Disaster Fire Suppression: fire chemistry, identifying and reducing potential fire hazards, firefighting resources, firefighting techniques. You will use a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire.
  • Classes 3 & 4: Disaster Medical Operations: treatment for life-threatening conditions; principles of triage; patient lifts, drags, and carries; head-to-toe patient Community Emergency Response Team Training in actionassessments; establishing treatment areas; treatments for burns, lacerations, fractures, sprains, and other injuries.
  • Classes 5& 6: Light Search & Rescue Operations and Disaster Psychology: search & rescue priorities and resources; situation size-up, rescuer safety and limitations, construction-related hazards, damage assessment, lifting, cribbing and levers, victim extrication, and disaster psychology.
  • Class 7: Team Organization and Decision Making: CERT organization, volunteer management, CERT documentation, and a resource allocation decision-making exercise. Take-home examination.
  • Class 8: Course review, take-home examination review, and a practical “disaster simulation” exercise with live victims to put your new skills to the test!

CERT members are also encouraged to get their amateur radio license to assist in disaster communications. This requires a multiple-choice test on basic electronics, FCC rules, and radio operations.

Image of a man extinguishing a small fire   

Financial Commitment

The City will provide:

  • safety vest
  • hard hat
  • safety goggles
  • work gloves

We ask each member to complete his or her own CERT supplies kit by the end of the course. This will allow you to assist your neighbors and minimize the impact in your area.

Neighborhood Commitment

Spreading the word and committing to the “neighbors helping neighbors” philosophy is great incentive to get to know your neighbors, find out what special skills and interests they have. CERT is a perfect complement to the Neighborhood Watch program, homeowners’ association, or other existing neighborhood leadership structure. 

For infomration on CERT training and the next available class email Hillsboro Emergency Management  or call 503-681-6166 

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Last updated: 9/17/2014 1:09:44 PM