Community Emergency Response Team

Fire CERT graphic

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 in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. In order to join you will need fill out the CERT Application

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

Phoenix Homeland Defense Bureau
150 S. 12th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

You can also fax your application to 602-534-6630.

Once you have completed your application you must complete 20 hours of Basic Training.  Please select the CERT class you would like to start with from the Basic Training Calendar and submit it with your application.  This will serve as your enrollment to that class. 

You will be notified regarding your acceptance for that class.

There is no cost to the public for this training. We offer college credit through Phoenix College for all CERT basic training and continuing education classes. Thank you again for your interest in the program and your willingness to learn skills that will assist you in taking care of your family and neighborhood.


We are now using the website "Signup Genius" to register for classes.

To sign up for January - March classes (Grief, Crisis, Stress, Ethics classes are also available) please click the link below:

If you do not register for a class and it is cancelled you will not be notified. If you register for a class you are responsible to let us know if you are unable to attend.



Assignment Status Form
Track personnel on an assignment.


Damage Assessment Form
Summary of all hazards in area.


Equipment Resources Form
Keep track of equipment.


Incident Briefing Form
Sketch a map of the incident area with any hazards.
Summarize the actions of your teams.


Message Form
Use for all communications. (assignment completed, additional resources needed, unable to complete, special information/status update)


Personnel Resources Form
Staging: Have people sign in and list their skills.


Post-Incident Status Form
Record incident assignments from Damage Assessments.


Victim Treatment Area Form
Document each person brought to the treatment area.




Citizens Corps

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Arizona Division of Emergency Management

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