About Beaverton CERT

Beaverton CERT is about readiness, people helping people, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is an initiative and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference. Through CERT basic training, citizens can organize themselves and use spontaneous volunteers to manage utilities, put out small fires, provide basic medical first aid, and search for and rescue victims calmly, safely, and efficiently.


In the 2002 State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush asked Americans to volunteer their services in order to improve and safeguard their country. Harnessing the spirit of cooperation that developed as a result of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the President created the Citizen Corps Program to organize volunteer services in the areas of crime, natural disasters, and terrorism. CERT is a part of the Citizen Corps Program. Learn more about the response team in CERT - Then and Now.

Concept Development & Need

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987, underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need to train civilians in order to meet their immediate needs. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens as well as private and government employees.

Program Expansion

The training program that LAFD initiated makes good sense and furthers the process of citizens understanding their responsibility in preparing for disaster. It also increases their ability to safely help themselves, their family, and their neighbors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes the importance of preparing citizens. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and the National Fire Academy (NFA) adopted and expanded the CERT materials, believing them applicable to all hazards.

CERT Responsibility

The CERT program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.


Following a major disaster, first responders who provide police, fire, and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors such as number of victims, communication failures, and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment's notice through 9-1-1. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life-saving and life-sustaining needs. For this reason, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was developed.

What CERT Can Do For You

CERT members give critical support to first responders in emergencies, provide immediate assistance to victims, organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site, and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.

If you would like to know more about citizen corp CERT, please view the Citizen Corp website.

Want to join CERT?

CERT Training/Ham Radio Volunteer Registration

Contact CERT

Contact Information

Additional Resources