Upcoming Community Emergency Response Team training

Learn essential disaster response skills this March during a three-day training event. 

Upcoming Community Emergency Response Team training
Community Emergency Response Team training coming in March. (Photo: Mihajlo Maricic from Getty Images)

REDLANDS, Calif. — The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training Program is hosting a three-day course in March to educate community members about disaster preparedness. 

Why it matters: CERT, offered by the Redlands Fire Department’s Emergency Management Division, is a valuable program that trains residents in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. With extreme weather events occurring more frequently, it is important to be organized and prepared during an emergency. 

Details: The training is free and will take place over three days, beginning Friday, March 15 and ending on Sunday. 

Through classroom lessons and exercises, CERT members develop the skills needed to assist others in their neighborhood or workplace in the event that professional responders are not immediately available. 

“During a disaster, residents may have to take care of their own families for a few days. We wish to make sure they have the proper training and equipment to be able to help themselves, their families and their communities,” Esther Martinez, emergency operations specialist with the city of Redlands, wrote in an email to Community Forward News.

Some of the topics the training covers include disaster preparedness, fire safety, hazard materials awareness, damage assessment, disaster medical operations, team organization, disaster psychology, terrorism awareness, emergency communications and more. 

Background: Nearly 500 residents in Redlands have gone through the program over the past 30 years, according to organizers. The CERT program was created in Los Angeles but has since spread across the United States and abroad. It began after a group of officials from Los Angeles traveled to Japan in 1985 to study their disaster response plans. They found that the extensive training was often neighborhood-based and focused on fire suppression, light search and rescue, first aid and evacuation. 

Zoom out: Over the years, the number of extreme weather and climate disasters has increased significantly. In 2023, there were 28 weather and climate disasters, surpassing the previous record of 22 in 2020, according to the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information

Not only are disasters more prevalent, but last year they proved to be deadlier. At least 492 direct or indirect fatalities occurred in 2023 related to weather and climate events, which is the eighth-highest disaster-related fatality count in the contiguous U.S. since 1980, according to Climate.gov. 

Moving forward: For those interested in the training program, the March schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, March 15 from 6 to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All classes will be located at the Redlands Senior Center on Lugonia Avenue. To register, click on the link below.

CERT - City of Redlands

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