Media Release

Community Emergency Response Team Classes

Thursday, March 20, 2008 1:00 AM

2:45 p.m.

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Division of Emergency Management has scheduled three new Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training classes.  The classes will meet on Tuesdays nights for seven weeks from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Classes and course materials are free to the public. Classes are held at the Alachua County Emergency Operations Center, 1100 SE 27th Street, Gainesville.

A CERT is a group of citizens that receives special training (CERT training classes) which enhances their ability to recognize, respond to and recover from a major emergency or disaster situation.  When a major emergency overwhelms normally available resources, such as emergency responders, response delays of hours or even days may occur.  CERTs were created so that citizens with basic skills training would be able to assist those in distress.

Training includes the following:

  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Fire Safety
  • Disaster Medical Operations
  • Light Search and Rescue
  • Disaster Psychology and Team Organization
  • Terrorism and CERT

Upon successful course completion, each team member will receive a FEMA/EMI Training Certificate.  Only team members 18 years and older will be eligible for the certificate, but children aged 14 and up may participate in the classes if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The three classes will take place on the following dates:

  • June 10, 2008 thru July 22, 2008 (registration ends on June 6, 2008)
  • August 5, 2008 thru September 16, 2008 (registration ends on August 1, 2008)
  • October 7, 2008 thru November 18, 2008 (registration ends on October 3, 2008)

As the class size will be limited to 25, interested parties are encouraged to register early.

Persons interested in an application and reading about the CERT program can visit the CERT page on the Division of Emergency Management website at

Due to new FEMA training guidelines all first responders, including CERT personnel, must take the following courses to be in compliance with the National Incident Management System  (NIMS):

The courses are free of charge and can be taken online at the websites above.  

For more information, or to enroll in a CERT class, citizens should contact Ebbin Spellman, CERT Program Coordinator, at (352) 264-6530 or email





  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).