Media Release

Community Emergency Response Team Classes To Begin

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 12:00 AM

The Alachua County Division of Emergency Management has scheduled two Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training classes.

The first CERT class will meet for seven weeks on Thursday nights, beginning on January 19, and will conclude on March 2. The second CERT class will meet for seven weeks on Tuesday nights, beginning on April 18, and will conclude on May 30. All classes will meet from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Emergency Operations Center, 1100 SE 27th Street , Gainesville .

CERT classes are held for the purpose of creating Community Emergency Response Teams. A CERT is a group of citizens that is organized and receives special training that 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 are created so that citizens with "basic skills training" should be able to immediately assist those in distress.

Training includes the following topics:

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

Upon successful completion, each team member will receive a FEMA/EMI Training Certificate. Only team members 18 years of age 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

Persons interested in participating, can visit the Division of Emergency Management website,, and select CERT under the Individual and Family Preparedness section to obtain an application and read about the CERT program.

For more information, or to enroll in a CERT class, citizens can contact E. W. Bertsch, Emergency Management Operations Coordinator, at (352) 264 6530. The registration deadline for the second CERT class is April 10.


  • 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).