About CERT Training


Registration is OPEN for the following classes:

All classes are free, and students will receive CERT disaster response gear at no charge. Space is limited! Click a class title to register now:

* CERT 123 meets at Fort Belvoir, Thursday nights from 6-9:30 PM. Class dates are March 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4, and 11 (with a final exercise TBD).

This class is scheduled primarily for Fort Belvoir residents and the tenant agencies' workforce. The class may also be open for other persons that have authorized ID card access to Fort Belvoir and frequent the garrison facilities, on a space available basis.

CERT 125 meets at the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Academy in Fairfax, twice a week on Monday and Wednesday nights from 7-11 PM. Class dates are April 24, 26, May 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, and 17.

Students must attend all classes to get a certificate. Click any of the CERT class titles above to register.

Can't make any of our current classes? Add yourself to our mailing list and get notified of upcoming class opportunities: Interested in CERT

See below for more information on what you can expect from CERT training and how to complete the registration process.

What Is CERT Training?

Scenario: Severe thunderstorms -- like 2012's derecho, only worse -- strike Fairfax County, causing widespread flooding, power outages, and road closures. Many buildings are damaged; people are injured; and 911 is overwhelmed and unreachable. If your neighborhood was affected, would you know what to do?

CERT students assess and treat  a simulated victim during the Spring 2013 final training exercise in Lorton, Virginia.
CERT students assess and treat a simulated victim during the Spring 2013 final training exercise in Lorton, Virginia. Photo: Joe Loong
The Community Emergency Response Team program (CERT) teaches emergency preparedness and disaster response skills to regular people, so that they can safely help themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods during major emergencies where first responders may be delayed.

Taught by experienced instructors from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and CERT volunteer instructors, the free training combines 25 hours of classroom learning with hands-on training.

CERT students learn disaster preparedness, light search and rescue techniques, disaster medicine, fire suppression, lifting and cribbing, and other necessary skills.

At the end of training, students put all their new skills to use responding to a simulated disaster in a realistic, half-day field training exercise.


IMG_1289
CERT students transport a simulated victim during the Spring 2013 final training exercise in Lorton, Virginia. Photo: Joe Loong

Where and When Is CERT Training?

Fairfax County CERT classes are generally held in the spring and fall at the Fire and Rescue Academy in Fairfax (the same facility where Fairfax County's firefighters train), meeting for seven classes in the evenings from 7-10:30 PM, either weekly or twice-weekly.

CERT Class 84, held at the Greater Springfield Volunteer Fire Department, Station 22. Photo: Joe Loong

CERT Training for Your Group

In addition, for members of faith-based groups, workplaces, homeowners' or condo associations, and other community organizations, if you can bring together a minimum of 12 people interested in taking CERT training and can provide somewhere to train (like a clubhouse, community room, or other meeting space), we'll send CERT instructors out to you, free!

If you're interested in getting CERT training for your group, please email training@fairfaxcountycert.org for more information.

Who Can Take CERT Training?

All people 18 years or older who live, work, worship, or spend significant time in Fairfax County are eligible for CERT training. Students of all abilities are welcome to participate.

(Additional training opportunities for teens are available through the Teen CERT program. For information about Teen CERT and other CERT training opportunities, please email Jeffrey Katz, Volunteer Liaison, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.)

How Do I Sign Up for CERT Training?

Signups for CERT training and volunteer opportunities are managed through Fairfax County's volunteer management system. To register for free CERT Training, you'll need to set up a volunteer profile:

1. If you're signing up for a specific class, click on that class's listing. Otherwise, go to the "Interested in CERT" opportunity (http://bitly.com/InterestCERT). Then, click "Apply."
2. Click the "New Volunteer Sign Up" button and create a profile by entering your information in the required fields. (If you already have a Fairfax County volunteer account, you can sign in with that.)


You can view an instructional video that walks you through the registration process: How to Register for Fairfax County CERT.


If you have problems trying to register, email Jeffrey Katz at fire.cert@fairfaxcounty.gov

Throughout the year, CERT students can also learn new skills, take refresher courses, and participate in additional training exercises. You can see a listing of current CERT courses on the Fairfax County volunteer management site. (Note: Some CERT training activities are only available to people who have completed the full CERT training course.)

Does CERT Training Cost Anything?

CERT training is free to students. In addition, CERT students are given a backpack filled with disaster response and personal protective equipment, including a helmet, reflective vest, pry tool, headlamp, and more. Here's an example of some provided gear:

Example of CERT gear given to students. Pictured: Reflective vest, duct tape, shears, safety whistle, glowstick, markers, gas shutoff tool, knee pads, dust mask.
Example of CERT gear given to students. Pictured: Reflective vest, duct tape, shears, safety whistle, glowstick, markers, gas shutoff tool, knee pads, dust mask. Photo: Joe Loong