07 January 2004

FEMA On-line Course Offers CERT Training

FEMA On-line Course Offers CERT Training:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has an on-line, independent study course that can serve as either an introduction to those joining Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) or as a refresher to current volunteer team members.

“While nothing can replace the in-person training local jurisdictions offer to CERT volunteers, this independent course augments their education and serves to reinforce the knowledge they’ve gained,” said Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. “This new independent study course underscores the importance that FEMA places on CERT and its importance to communities across the nation.”

CERT members work with a community’s emergency management officials to provide assistance in a disaster by helping victims, organizing spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site and supporting emergency responders.

Specialists at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute developed the course, which is part of the institute’s extensive independent study program. The course, Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams, IS 317, has six modules with topics that include an introduction to CERT, fire safety, hazardous material and terrorist incidents, disaster medical operations, and search and rescue. It takes between six and eight hours to complete the course; those successfully finishing it receive a certification of completion. The course is located at: CERT Training Online.

The course can be taken by anyone interested in CERT, but only those who are actual CERT volunteers can take the in-person training FEMA offers.

On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.

1SecureAudit is leading a project to create a Corporate Emergency Response Team for all the businesses in a commercial building in Fairfax County, VA. We highly recommend that CERT volunteers take the FEMA online courses while they are waiting for the official county certified training in the classroom. In our case, the demand exceeds the capacity of the instructors so you could be waiting up to 8 weeks to get your team officially trained.

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