History Of CERT

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The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985. The department recognized that citizens would very likely be on their own during the early stages of a catastrophic disaster and that, with some basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills, they would be better able to survive and help others until responders or other assistance could arrive.

More recently, East Coast cities have recognized the success of the CERT concept and have trained teams to meet local challenges. Many coastal communities, particularly in hurricane-prone areas, have already trained thousands of people. CERT training has proven so beneficial that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recommended that CERT training be done nationwide. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI), in cooperation with the Los Angeles Fire Department, has expanded CERT materials and made them applicable for all contemporary hazards.