Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
The Community Emergency Response Team Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
Stafford CERT combines a community-based team approach with a countywide CERT cadre to manage programmatic initiatives and training. Members may be called upon to assist in the Emergency Operations Center, support sheltering operations, manage distribution centers or a host of additional recovery efforts to help restore the community after a disaster.
Become a Member
CERT members receive 21 hours of initial training, free of charge, consisting of classroom and hands-on scenarios. The course is followed by a final exercise where you apply the skills learned from the CERT Basic course. Our current CERT program is for adults 18 and over, but teens are encouraged to get involved.
The training is open to anyone, and we encourage you to have neighbors, friends and family enroll as well to form a "community-based' team of volunteers.
View our photo album of CERT members in action.
The Membership Application packet (PDF) is available. Prior to course participation, complete the packet and contact the Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department at 540-658-7200 to arrange for a time when you can turn in the completed packet and schedule your background check.
Upon completion of the CERT Basic course, you must complete the FEMA IS 100, 200, and 700 online courses if not done prior.
If you have questions or would like to be notified of future course dates, email us.
To access these courses please visit:
- IS-100 - Introduction to Incident Command System
- IS-200 - ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
- IS-700.A: National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction
We encourage you to begin the registration process early to ensure all prerequisites are completed prior to the start of the course.
CERT Courses are conducted at the Stafford County Public Safety Center, 1225 Courthouse Road and the Fire and Rescue Training Academy at 1326 Courthouse Road.
Additional Off Site locations may be used for Exercises.
If applicable, "Whole Community Team" training may be conducted at a venue convenient to the participating group.
Attendance at all class sessions is required to complete the CERT curriculum.
For additional information, please contact:
Stafford County Emergency Management Division
CERT Program Administration
1225 Courthouse Road
P.O. Box 339
Stafford, Virginia 22555