CERT Basic Training



Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training

During an emergency or following a major disaster, first responders may not be able to meet the increased demand for their services. The CERT program educates community members about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using this training, CERT-trained individuals can assist others in their family, their neighborhood, and their community until first responders arrive.

Anne Arundel – Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) is pleased to provide this CERT Basic Training. Our 21-hour course teaches these skills using updated FEMA-supplied materials, incorporating practical exercises, and culminating with a disaster scenario in a realistic environment.

For whom is the training designed?

The target audience for this course are individuals who desire the skills and knowledge required to prepare for and respond to a disaster. The minimum age is 16 and there is no maximum age. Everyone participates to the extent that they can, given individual constraints.



The March 2024 class has successfully completed.

Day Date Time (Start) Time (End est)
March 1, 2024
6:00 PM
9:00 PM
March 2, 2024
8:00 AM
5:00 PM
March 3, 2024
8:00 AM
4:00 PM
March 10, 2024
12:30 PM
4:30 PM

The April 2024 class has successfully completed.

Day Date Time (Start) Time (End est)
April 26, 2024
6:00 PM
9:00 PM
April 27, 2024
8:00 AM
5:00 PM
April 28, 2024
8:00 AM
4:00 PM
May 5, 2024
12:30 PM
4:30 PM
Day Date Time (Start) Time (End est)
September 27, 2024
6:00 PM
9:00 PM
September 28, 2024
8:00 AM
5:00 PM
September 29, 2024
8:00 AM
4:00 PM
October 6, 2024
12:30 PM
4:30 PM


Last-minute cancellations limit opportunities for others to register.  Therefore, refunds are only available if you cancel at least seven days prior to the beginning of class.  Note:  Irrespective of when you cancel, credit card transaction fees and charges are not refunded.

What must I do before taking CERT Basic Training?

You must complete the following two, free, on-line FEMA Emergency Management Institute courses prior to start of class on Day 1:

          1.  IS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS)

          2.  IS-700: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System

If you don’t have one already, you must register for a FEMA Student ID (SID), which is free.

After you have completed each course, take the on-line exam. If you pass the exam by getting at least 75 percent of the answers correct, FEMA will email you a link to a printable certificate (in PDF format) to verify your completion of each course. Please forward the two FEMA emails with the links to the certificates, or e-mail PDFs of the two certificates, to training@aaacert.org.

How long does it take to complete a FEMA on-line course, including the exam?

Although the FEMA course descriptions state that each on-line course takes up to three hours to complete, students generally complete each course and then take an on-line exam to certify completion of the course in a little more than half that time.

You must complete all prerequisites and all units in the CERT Basic Training to receive your nationally recognized Certificate of Completion.

Overall Course Objectives 

Upon completing this course, the participants should be able to:

  1. Describe the types of hazards that are most likely to affect their homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods.
  2. Take steps to prepare themselves and their families for a disaster.
  3. Describe the functions of CERTs and their role in immediate response.
  4. Identify and reduce potential fire hazards in their homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods.
  5. Work as a team to apply basic fire suppression strategies, resources, and safety measures to extinguish a pan fire.
  6. Apply techniques for opening airways, controlling excessive bleeding, and treating for shock.
  7. Conduct triage under simulated disaster conditions.
  8. Perform head-to-toe patient assessments.
  9. Select and set up a treatment area.
  10. Employ basic treatments for various injuries and apply splints to suspected fractures and sprains.
  11. Identify planning and size up requirements for potential search and rescue situations.
  12. Describe the most common techniques for searching a structure.
  13. Work as a team to apply safe techniques for debris removal and victim extrication.
  14. Describe ways to protect rescuers during search and rescue operations.
  15. Describe the post-disaster emotional environment and the steps that rescuers can take to relieve their own stressors and those of disaster survivors.
  16. Describe CERT organization and documentation requirements.

In addition to the overall course objectives listed above, each unit has specific objectives.

CERT Basic Training Outline


Unit 1 – Disaster Preparedness
– Community Preparedness: Roles and Responsibilities
– Hazards and Their Potential Impact
– Impact on the Infrastructure
– Home and Workplace Preparedness
– Reducing the Impact of Hazards Through Mitigation
– CERT Disaster Response
– Protection for Disaster Workers
– Additional Training for CERTs

Unit 2 – CERT Organization
– CERT Organization
– CERT Mobilization
– Documentation

Unit 3 – Disaster Medical Operations — Part 1
– Treating Life-Threatening Conditions
– Triage
– Treating Burns
– Wound Care
– Treating Fractures, Dislocations, Sprains, and Strains
– Nasal Injuries
– Treating Cold-Related Injuries
– Treating Heat-Related Injuries
– Bites and Stings

Unit 4 – Disaster Medical Operations — Part 2
– Public Health Considerations
– Functions of Disaster Medical Operations
– Establishing Medical Treatment Areas
– Conducting Head-to-Toe Assessments

Unit 5 – Disaster Psychology
– Disaster Trauma
– Team Well-Being
– Working with Survivors’ Trauma

Unit 6 – Fire Safety and Utility Controls
– Fire Chemistry
– Fire and Utility Hazards
– CERT Sizeup
– Fire Sizeup Considerations
– Firefighting Resources
– Fire Suppression Safety
– Hazardous Materials
– Exercise: Proper use of a fire extinguisher to extinguish small fires

Unit 7 – Light Search and Rescue Operations
– Safety During Search and Rescue Operations
– Conducting Interior and Exterior Search Operations
– Conducting Rescue Operations Exercise
– Exercise: Search and simple triage

Unit 8 – Terrorism and CERT
– What Is Terrorism?
– Terrorist Targets
– Terrorist Weapons
– CBRNE Indicators
– Preparing at Home, Work, and in Your Neighborhood
– CERTs and Terrorist Incidents

Unit 9 – Functional Needs, Course Review, Final Exam, and Disaster Simulation
– Course Review
– Final Exam
– Exercise: Disaster Simulation
– Exercise Critique and Summary

Course dates, times, and content are subject to change. Changes will be made on this post.


If you have any questions, please contact training@aaacert.org.

We look forward to having you!

Be Prepared. Have a Plan.