Community Emergency Response Team

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Welcome to the Phoenix CERT website.  This website provides information on the Phoenix Community Emergency Response Team program. Take a moment to view the links for more information on how this program serves the City of Phoenix and how you can get involved.

The Phoenix CERT program exists to support the mission of the Phoenix Homeland Defense Bureau.   The Bureau consists of the Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix Police Department, the Office of Emergency Management, and the Department of Public Health.

What is CERT?  

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies happen, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community.
The CERT course is taught in the community by a trained team of first responders and community members who have completed a CERT train-the-trainer course conducted by their state training office for emergency management, or Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute (EMI), located in Emmitsburg, MD. CERT training includes disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, light search and rescue operations and terrorism awareness.

Over the next two years, the CERT program aims to double the number of participants, with more than 400,000 individuals completing the 20-plus hours of training. Train-the-trainer sessions will be held in all 56 states and territories over the next year to expand the program throughout the United States.

CERT History  

In 2004 the City of Phoenix Homeland Defense Bureau set in motion the CERT program for the City of Phoenix which is one of hundreds of community's nationwide offering this training. CERT training promotes a partnership between emergency services and citizens of communities throughout the city.  The goal of CERT is to train members of Phoenix neighborhoods, community organizations and workplaces in basic disaster survival skills.

The Community Emergency Response Team concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985.   The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California.   Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs.   As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens and private and government employees. Currently there are thousands of CERT teams around the United States.

After a disaster, first responders (fire and police) and other government service providers are overwhelmed.   Public services cannot be delivered everywhere that help is needed. Experience has shown that in a disaster setting, ordinary citizens make over 80 per cent of successful rescues as they respond to the emergency in their community.   However, many untrained volunteer rescuers actually may cause harm or become injured in the process.

What You'll Learn  

  • The types of hazards most likely to affect your home and community

  • The function of CERT and your role in the immediate response

  • How to take steps to prepare for a disaster

  • How to identify and reduce potential fire hazards in your home and workplace

  • How to work as a team to apply basic fire suppression strategies, resources, and safety measures to extinguish a burning liquid

  • How to apply techniques for opening airways, controlling bleeding and treating shock

  • How to conduct triage under simulated conditions

  • How to perform head-to-toe assessments

  • How to select and set up a treatment area

  • How to employ basic treatments for various wounds

  • How to identify, plan and size-up requirements for potential search and rescue situations

  • How to use safe techniques for debris removal and victim extrication

  • The most common techniques for searching a structure

How to Join

Thank you for your interest i​​n the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. In order to join you will need fill out the CERT Applica​tion

Fill out your CERT application, then save it and send it via e-mail to:

or snail mail to:

Phoenix Homeland Defense Bureau

Attn: CERT

150 S. 12th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Questions?  Please call:  602-534-9206

Once you have submitted your application, you must complete 20-hours of Basic CERT Training. Please select a class that fits your schedule from the CERT Basic Class Schedule calendar link below. Once you select the dates you are interested in (you must attend all three dates of a class), follow CERT Quarterly Training link below for the 20-hour Basic CERT class you want and complete the registration and sign-up. If you do not have a CERT Quarterly Training account, you will need to set one up as all Phoenix CERT classes and activities use this tool.


For registration in our next available Basic Class, please visit our page onCity of Phoenix Volunteer Portal

Once you have completed the 20-hour Basic Training class, you will be invited to signup for the New Volunteer Orientation Class which, among other things, will tell you what classes are required to become an active volunteer.

If you did not take the Phoenix CERT Basic class, but took the Basic CERT class elsewhere, please submit a copy of your 20-hour Basic CERT certificate to our email address at​ before signing up for a​ny classes. 

Note: Classes and events may only be attended by people who have completed the 20-hour Basic CERT class and Phoenix CERT has a course completion certificate on file for you.

If you would like to see more of Phoenix CERT, visit our Facebook page at​ ​​


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Arizona Division of Emergency Management

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