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CERT volunteer emergency responder training now available online

The national Community Emergency Response Team program (CERT) trains volunteers to prepare for natural and manmade disasters that our communities may face. Through hands-on practice and realistic exercises, CERT members learn light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, fire safety and utility controls, leadership in disasters, and traffic and crowd management to support first responders during an emergency. Since 1986 more than 600,000 people nationwide have completed CERT training. Northern Sonoma County CERT was chartered by the Cloverdale Fire Protection District and the Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District. CERT partners with numerous other volunteer groups who support emergency and disaster response in Sonoma County. Learn how to safely respond to man-made and natural hazards, help organize basic disaster response, and promote preparedness within your community.

This online self-study program is available now and should take between 12 and 14 hours to complete. It can be done according to your own schedule using any PC or Apple computer or tablet. The online training is a pre-requisite to in-person, hands-on training which will be offered by the Northern Sonoma County CERT program after the first of the year. The in-person, hands-on training will be conducted in small groups in Sonoma County with full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Both the online and in person training are required to become CERT certified. Once CERT certified, volunteers are available to take advanced training in areas such as Wild Land Search and Rescue, Small Animal Search and Sheltering, Large Animal Evacuation, and Radio Communications.

Over 70 trained CERT volunteers have been activated in Sonoma County during COVID-19, the LNU Lightning Fires, and the Glass Fire. They have provided support to the Sonoma County Emergency Operations Center and to the Cloverdale Citrus Fair Emergency Shelter.

To register for the online class or for more information, contact Geoffrey Peters, the Northern Sonoma County CERT Program Manager at [email protected] com.

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