About CERT

About Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program prepares citizens to safely help themselves, their families, and their communities in the event of major disasters where first responders are delayed.

The origins of CERT are in the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which killed as many as 10,000 people. After the quake, untrained spontaneous volunteers -- regular people -- rescued 800 of their fellow citizens. However, in the process, 100 of those rescuers lost their lives. Afterwards, the Los Angeles Fire Department developed a program to train regular people to so they could safely help their communities after an earthquake, in what became CERT. It's now a nationwide program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that takes an "all-hazards" approach to community preparedness and response. See more information about the CERT program at the FEMA web site.

About Fairfax County CERT

The Fairfax County CERT program was established in January 2003, and is administered by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department thrugh the Office of the Volunteer Liaison. Four adjunct instructors from the Fire and Rescue Academy are currently authorized to teach the CERT program, along with twenty additional CERT volunteers as authorized trainers.

Additional information about Fairfax County CERT is available at the Citizen Corps web site.

Signups for CERT training and volunteer opportunities are managed through Fairfax County's volunteer management system. To register for free CERT Training:

1. View the "Interested in CERT" opportunity and click "Apply."
2. Click the "New Volunteer Sign Up" button and provide your information in the required fields. (If you already have a Fairfax County volunteer account, you can sign in with that.)

Fairfax County CERT Steering Committee Leadership

To contact the volunteer leadership of the Fairfax County CERT Steering Committee:

Local Neighborhood CERT Teams 

The Fairfax County CERT Program is moving forward with the development of Local (community or neighborhood) CERT Teams. Consistent with the CERT mission, the goal of this effort is to encourage and foster the formation of Local CERT Teams by bringing together interested CERTs who live or work in close proximity to each other, to form teams capable of responding locally to disasters when professional responders are overwhelmed or delayed in their ability to respond; “neighbors helping neighbors.” There currently are a small number of local teams; we would like to expand this number where there is sufficient support.

If you are interested in joining, leading, or helping to form a local CERT team in your neighborhood, your community, or where you work, please send an email to Jonathan Kiell, Local Teams Coordinator at teams@fairfaxcountycert.org with the following information:

    CERT Class (if known):
    Preferred email:
    Complete street address (please include your zip code to help us sort):
    Phone number(s) (please note which is cell; home, etc.):
    If you are already part of a local CERT Team, please indicate the Team Name:
    Please indicate if you are interested or willing to help organize a team:
    Provide any other information you feel is relevant: