Community Emergency Response Team

The Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services provides 8 hours of intensive instruction and hands-on activity to potential CERT Team Trainers who are currently certified in Basic First Aid and CPR/AED. Instruction includes the elements of disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, light search and rescue, disaster psychology and team organization. This is a community-based program offered to municipalities, schools, scouts, business and industry, and non-profits, including community and faith based organizations. Certified trainers then train and develop team members within their organizations or community to assist their neighbors and each other in a disaster until first responders can respond.

If a major disaster were to occur, there might be insufficient numbers of first responders available to respond to all the needs. CERT teams help the community's residents, schools and businesses deal with injuries and conditions until professionals can arrive.

About the Program

The CERT Program is:
  • Neighbor helping neighbor - doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
  • A community based program - you and your neighbors.
  • A group of ordinary citizens who want to help in the time of disaster.
  • Comprised of people trained in BASIC emergency skills offering immediate help until professional services arrive.
  • A program to help volunteers stay alive in a disaster rescue and assistance situation.
  • A way to pre-plan for a potential neighborhood emergency.
  • A way to reduce stress and confusion in the local area.
  • An inducement for citizens to seek higher levels of training through other sources.
  • A format that you can adapt to your local community structure.
The CERT Progam is NOT:
  • A replacement for highly trained volunteer or paid professional first responders.
  • Designed to be activated by the media or 9-1-1, a disaster activates the team.
  • Providing any law enforcement powers to citizens.
  • A replacement for fire, rescue and healthcare providers.
  • A perfect, tailor-made program, providing all the answers for every disaster scenario.


Current certification in both basic first aid and CPR/AED and attendance at 8 hours of an intensive Train the Trainer session, Contact Allegheny County Emergency Management at 412-473-2550 or email us if you need to schedule a session.

A new CERT interactive web based course can be found at FEMA CERT. This course is valuable as a refresher course.