The City of Albany and the Albany Fire Department are proud to provide Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training to help prepare Albany to be as resilient as possible.
8 week CERT course
Next CERT Course TBA
6:00 pm-9:00 pm
Our eventual goal is to have at least one person per block that has been educated or is knowledgeable of the standards that are exemplified by CERT. The City of Albany refers to these individuals as Block Captains.
Once a resident has completed the CERT program, they have the option of signing up to be a Block Captain. A Block Captain’s primary role is to help neighbors with a common interest in disaster preparedness and to help organize their block or building and form CERT teams.
Different blocks throughout Albany have successfully implemented a wide variety of programs and disaster preparedness activities. CERT operates on the premise that anything you do is a step in the right direction. There are many guidelines and suggestions for activities but there is no prescribed approach. Each block is free to decide upon it’s own priorities, programs and actions, and manage CERT as they see fit. CERT activities include but are not limited to:
- Formation of subcommittees with assigned responsibilities in an emergency, such as damage assessment, search and rescue, first aid, etc.
- Holding garage sales to raise funds for first aid, disaster kits or CERT supplies; help organize block or home parties
- Completion of information questionnaires to determine special needs, skills or resources of people on the block
- Mapping and marking of utility shutoffs for every house on the block
- Information and education meetings featuring guest speakers or local experts that may even live in their own community
- Prepare and distribute regular newsletters to announce meetings, report activities, and communicate with those who choose to not be actively involved
- Participate in a city wide Disaster Drill, and any other City sponsored training; promote the team or CERT program at city festivals and events
Online CERT Course
For those of you who are interested in CERT but do not have the time to invest in a 20-28 hour course session that is offered by our City and other jurisdictions, Citizen Corps is active in promoting support and the course curriculum online.
Although it is not a practical hands on course, it does cover the curriculum basics that are covered in a basic CERT course. It is highly recommend to take this course and any other courses that are made available through FEMA, Citizen Corps, or other online educational resources. Not only is the course complete and concise, it allows you to study at your own pace, and when you have the time, you will have a solid understanding of CERT concepts.
CERT Online Course
After you complete your CERT course, it is highly recommended you also take the online ICS Course available through FEMA. ICS stands for Incident Command System and it has been made standardized through the NIMS system, the National Incident Management System.
When you take a CERT Course through a City such as Albany, ICS is part of the CERT curriculum, and if you have trouble with the concept of Chain of Command or Command at an Incident, Online ICS Courses are available on the internet as well. These online courses can help supplement actual CERT training, or actually be part of the course requirement. There are multiple layers of training and certificates are issued for completion of these courses.
We suggest you start with ICS 100. Once you complete ICS 100, explore the next levels in training. Each layer of government must be proficient in ICS.
If you have any questions regarding the online training, the staff in Albany Fire Department Fire Prevention and Disaster Preparedness may be able to help you.