Member Training

CERT Members Complete SARTECH III Course

From June 21 to June 23, 2019, Anne Arundel – Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) hosted Search and Rescue (SAR) training, certifying members as entry level “non-wilderness” responders.  Thirteen AAACERT members and two CERT members from other counties are now certified as SARTECH III by the National Association for Search and Rescue.  This certification enables AAACERT to assist in SAR events, when requested by the appropriate authorities, as trained responders.

Over the course of the three days, CERT members learned about search philosophy, tactics, and operations; they also studied clue consciousness, SAR resources, land navigation, and lost person behavior.  Under the expert tutelage of Jim Jackson and Bill Heisterhagen of the DELMARVA Search and Rescue Group, participants received classroom training, passed a written test, and successfully completed a land navigation and field exercise.

AAACERT trains volunteers in disaster response skills and emergency preparedness. AAACERT volunteers assist others in our community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help. When activated under the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management, or the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management, AAACERT supports emergency response agencies.

Photo: Instructors and Participants of AAACERT’s SARTECH III Course after the Final Evaluation (Photo submitted)

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Monthly Training Explores Dangers of Improvised Explosive Devices

On Wednesday, May 15, Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) President Paul Bowling conducted the group’s monthly training, focusing this iteration on CERT safety in incidents of improvised explosive devices and bombings. The training was held at Anne Arundel Community College.

Among the many new facts Paul shared with the group, he reminded attendees of their first priority – safety – per basic CERT training, when responding to an incident of any type. The group also reviewed the “RAIN” protocol for dealing with potentially damaging devices or substances.

R Recognize (Know that a device or substance may be dangerous.)

AAvoid (Leave the immediate area right away.)

IIsolate (Move yourself away from the suspected device, and try to keep anyone else from going near it.)

NNotify (Call 911, and tell the dispatcher exactly what you have found and where it is so the proper, trained authorities can come and handle the situation.)

Approximately 28 participants attended the training, which served as a model of inter-organizational collaboration. The group included members of AAACERT, Upper Marlboro CERT, Greenbelt CERT, and Berwyn Heights CERT, as well as Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) members from Prince Georges and Anne Arundel counties.

Photo: Instructor Paul Bowling shared some data collected by the New Mexico Tech Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center.

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Wide Area Search Class

When disaster strikes, it can be a challenge to effectively mobilize, organize, and deploy resources needed to perform wide area searches. This course is an excellent training opportunity for any jurisdiction or agency that may face such an emergency. The course content applies to a vast number of critical situations, including natural disasters or terrorist incidents.

You will be instructed in practical search methods and skills so you can perform systematic searches over a large affected area. The training will include challenging exercises that mirror real-life scenarios. The three-day long event will conclude with an in-depth exercise that requires participants to utilize the skills gained during the course by working through an incident from start to finish in a single operational period.

The trainers delivering the course are knowledgeable—they are experienced emergency responders who have actively utilized wide area search techniques during some of the nation’s largest and most challenging operations, such as Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Gustav, and Rita; the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery operation; and many other incidents that required the same comprehensive strategies.

Class Date(s): 20 – 22 July 2018 (Three days)
Time: Registration @ 0730 on 20 July
Location: Anne Arundel County Fire Academy, Millersville, MD

The course is taught by experienced instructors from TEEX and paid at no cost by DHS/FEMA. However, there is a small fee of $15.00  to cover cost for snacks and drinks.

Click HERE for additional info and to register.

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National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Responder Training

TRAINING DESCRIPTION: A new coordinated, multi-disciplinary training
program, developed through the national Second Strategic Highway
Research Program (SHRP2), is being offered for all emergency
responders and those supporting Traffic Incident Management operations
– police, firefighters, EMS, state and local departments of
transportation, towing, and other incident responders.

The purpose is to promote a shared understanding of the requirements
for achieving the safety of responders and motorists, quick response,
and effective communications at traffic incident scenes, leading to a
safer, faster, integrated responder team and reduce secondary crashes.

DATE:  Saturday, 13 May 2017
TIME: 0800 – 1200
Location: Anne Arundel County Fire Training Academy, 415 Maxwell Frye Road, Millersville, MD

Register by using the link to the right.

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Call Taker Training – Wednesday, January 20th

AAA CERT members,

The Emergency Operations Center is hosting Call Taker Training ahead of the potential storm later this week.

When: January 20th from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where: EOC

Purpose: Review call taker procedures, phone usage, WebEOC, and general EOC information.

Please contact Chrissy Calp at ASAP if you are available to attend to save your seat and she will send you directions to the office.

As you are probably aware the area is under threat of a severe winter storm expected to impact the area January 22-23, which could have significant snow totals. We will have better forecasts for impact as the week moves forward, and will share that information with you. OEM is beginning to plan for an EOC activation starting Friday, Jan 22nd, assuming the worst.

Therefore, if activated we will need your support as call takers to help field resident’s calls.

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Skywarn Basic Spotter Class

Anne Arundel – Annapolis CERT and the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management is sponsoring a Skywarn Basic Spotter Class. This class will be presented by professional Meteorologist from the National Weather Service from Sterling Virginia.

This course is a prerequisite for all other courses. Basics I is a good general overview of what it means to be a spotter as well as the basics of the different weather phenomenon that impacts the Mid-Atlantic. Upon completion of the course, you will be registered in the program by the NWS. You will receive a spotter code from the NWS within 6 weeks. Training in Basics I includes:

  • The basic organization of the National Weather Service
  • The role and importance of the Skywarn spotter
  • How to report vital info to the NWS
  • NWS Products and the Watch/Warning/Advisory system
  • Thunderstorm, Flooding, Tropical and Winter Weather Threats
  • The role of amateur short-wave (HAM) radio in the Spotter Program

Date: 2016 January 21
Time: 1900 – 2200 (3 hours)
Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management
7480 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd.
Glen Burnie, MD 21061


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Train the Trainer (CERT Instructor) Class – December 18 – 20


The purpose of the Train the Trainer course is to produce competent instructors for the CERT Basic Training course. A competent CERT instructor delivers the CERT Basic Training course accurately, conveying the messages and intent of the CERT Program (e.g., safety, teamwork, place in overall community emergency operations plan). A competent instructor assures that participants achieve the objectives of the CERT Basic Training course. A competent CERT instructor delivers training effectively and at an appropriate level, thus enabling participants to learn and correctly apply skill sets. A competent instructor creates a comfortable yet managed learning environment
The over goal of this course is NOT to teach the Basic CERT skills but to teach the instructor HOW to instruct.
OVERALL COURSE OBJECTIVES At the conclusion of this training, participants will be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the CERT Basic Training course.
2. Demonstrate the ability to present an assigned portion of the course (teach-back).
3. Communicate the core values of the program.
4. Demonstrate classroom management techniques.
5. Demonstrate effective teaching techniques.
6. Model appropriate behavior as an instructor. In addition to the overall course objectives listed above, each unit has specific objectives.

Schedule (Must attend ALL Sessions)
Friday, 18 December, 19:00 – 22:00
Saturday, 19 December, 08:00 – 17:00
Sunday, 20 December, 08:00 – 17:00

Basic CERT Training
Anne Arundel County Background (If AAACERT Member)
Anne Arundel County Liability Waiver (Required of ALL participants)

What to Bring
Note Pad and Writing instrument
CERT ID – Required


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CERT Parade Marshal Training – Annapolis

There are many events within the City of Annapolis that bring a significant amount of visitors to the downtown area. In the next few months, the City will have celebrations with multiple parades in which Anne Arundel – Annapolis CERT will call upon our trained personnel to assist the first responders. Parade Marshals assist by providing eyes and ears for law enforcement and fire personnel. As a parade marshal, you will assist in crowd control, traffic management and ease of flow of parade apparatus. The training will entail parade safety requirements, emergency procedures, communication and notification protocols, and an introduction and mini presentation from the City’s Special Events coordinator Felicia Nolan.

Class Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Time: 19:00
Location: Annapolis City OEM, 166 Taylor Ave., Annapolis, MD 21401
Cost: Free
What to bring: Note pad, writing instrument, ID (CERT if you have one)





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Traffic and Crowd Management Class

This class will serve to provide CERT members with the skills needed to manage traffic and crowds in planned and emergency situations.

Participants will learn CERT Basic Training Concepts That Apply to Traffic and Crowd Management, Communicating Effectively, Crowd Management, Traffic Management

Training Objectives:

  • Identify possible CERT roles in traffic and crowd management
  • Explain CERT Basic Training concepts that apply to traffic and crowd management
  • Demonstrate standard hand signals for directing traffic and crowds
  • Describe skills for effective verbal communication with the public
  • Explain how to use radios and verbal communication skills to communicate with team members and chain of command
  • Recognize and respond to various types of crowd behavior
  • Identify safety concerns for managing crowds
  • Develop basic crowd management plan for an emergency situation
  • Demonstrate correct use of traffic control devices
  • Recognize safety concerns for managing traffic

Requirements: Basic CERT Training, Completed Anne Arundel County Background, CERT vest, CERT hardhat, and applicable clothing for the weather conditions.

Students will partake in classroom and practical training. The practical training will take place outdoors regardless of the weather conditions.

Reserve Officer (RO) E. M. Vazquez of the Anne Arundel County Police Department, Reserve Officer Unit, Western Platoon will provide instruction for the class.



Questions may be sent to:

Class size is limited to 15 maximum.

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Training Opportunities – Online

Social Media in Emergency Management #SMEM
August 12, 2015, 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET
Presented by Corey Mulryan, Associate and EMSS Coordinator, Hagerty Consulting

Agencies and jurisdictions must know how to use social media in real time during disasters. We will show you how to use social media tools effectively to communicate and collaborate with your targeted audiences. Don’t miss this interesting and fun presentation! To register for this training, visit:

Management of Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteers Training
September 2, 2015, 2:00-4:00pm ET
Presented by Ken Skalitzky, Emergency Management Director, Volunteer Florida

Disasters often evoke an outpouring of individuals wanting to be a part of response and relief activities.  These individuals, although well-intentioned, are rarely trained and can add to the already overtaxed resources available to assist the impacted community.  This online training will help organizations manage “spontaneous” volunteers effectively. To reserve a spot in this training, please visit:

Operation Volunteer Placement: A Volunteer Reception Center Exercise
September 24, 2015

Operation Volunteer Placement allows agencies and organizations tasked with the coordination of spontaneous volunteers during a disaster to exercise their plan in a web-based simulation.  Participants work together as a unified team in establishing, managing and demobilizing a Volunteer Reception Center.

This exercise is intended for group interaction and should include local partners involved in the management of disaster volunteers, including EMAs and sister government agencies, VOADs, and other nonprofits.  This exercise is self-paced and can be accessed between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET. It lasts between 90 minutes and three hours, depending on group interaction.

NOTE: While intended for group interaction, each participant should individually register to ensure receipt of post-exercise certificate of participation.

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Webinar: CERT Training for Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs

Webinar: CERT Training for Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs

Everyone has a role to play in keeping our communities safe. CERT volunteers, trainers, and program managers with a diverse range of experiences, skills, and abilities — including many with disabilities and others with access and functional needs — make valuable contributions in preparing their communities for disasters and supporting response and recovery efforts. And because CERT program activities are inclusive, training should be as well. It is not difficult to make reasonable accommodations for including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in CERT training. However, it’s a good idea to plan ahead to ensure that their specific needs are accounted for and that they feel welcome and engaged.

The FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division is hosting a webinar that focuses on practices that will help ensure a positive and accessible experience for CERT participants with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

Title: CERT Training for Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs

Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Time:  3:00 – 4:30 p.m. (ET)

Guest speakers:

  • Gay Jones, FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC)
  • Kathryn Gerk, Emergency Services Manager, Richmond, CA Fire Department
  • Jennifer Fales, Emergency Management Coordinator, Kansas City, MO Office of Emergency Management

Our featured speakers will share their insights and advice on how to engage and include individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in CERT training and activities, lessons they’ve learned from their experiences, and how their efforts have benefitted their programs and communities. The webinar will conclude with a question and answer session.

How to Join the Webinar

We hope that you will be able to join us on July 15! If you can’t make it, we will be posting the recording, transcript, and slide deck of the presentation on this page, under “Citizen Corps Partners/Affiliates”: You can also view our most recent webinar on developing resources for CERT programs at:

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