CERT - Community Emergency Response Team

Benton County CERT

Become a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and learn the skills needed to help your family, neighbors and colleagues during a disaster.

What is CERT?

CERT – Community Emergency Response Team – is a program of the US Citizen Corps which is managed nationally by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The program trains community volunteers in basic disaster response skills so they can help their neighbors during an emergency. Here in Benton County, CERT is coordinated by volunteers under the sponsorship of the Emergency Services Division of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

What do you learn?

CERT volunteers learn about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact our area. Through classroom and hands-on exercises, they are trained in basic disaster response skills including fire safety, building search and rescue, team organization, disaster medical operations, and much more!

What are you expected to do?

CERT volunteers do not replace professional responders, but when a disaster strikes, they are trained to assist others in our community until professional responders are available. CERT volunteers may be called out to an emergency and will be asked to respond as they are available and able.

After completing the Basic CERT training, CERT volunteers are expected to attend periodic trainings to keep their skills sharp. CERT volunteers are also encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking an active role in emergency preparedness projects.

Who can become a CERT volunteer?

Any adult interested in helping during a disaster and capable of basic mobility can apply. The application process includes a criminal history check. Benton County’s CERT program is geared toward adults, so applicants must be at least 18-years-old.

Once accepted into the program, participants must successfully complete the Basic CERT training program to become CERT-certified.

What is involved in the Basic CERT Training?

The Basic CERT Training is 4 weeks long and consists of nine separate units. Additionally, there is one on-line module that must be completed outside of class. Classes are held on three Saturdays and one Sunday. For a schedule of classes, read more…

How much does it cost to go through the CERT program?

Nothing! The program is free-of-charge.

How do I apply?

Complete the CERT Registration Form & Waiver.  To apply, read more…


Have additional questions or want to be put on a waiting list for the next available class? Contact us through our on-line CERT Interest Form. Our volunteer CERT Program Manager will get back to you with program information.

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