Emergency Preparedness & CERT Classes


The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates individuals about disaster preparedness and trains and organizes teams of volunteers that can support their communities during disasters. The CERT Program offers training in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. With proper CERT training you can help protect your family, neighbors, and co-workers in the event of a disaster.

Attendees learn in a classroom setting and practice skills necessary in an emergency.  Hands on training also occurs.

EMPact America of New York offers training every spring and fall.

Upon completion of training you are able to join local CERTs. There are a number of active teams in the Western New York area including Elma, Cheektowaga, Grand Island, Lancaster and West Seneca.

History of CERT:

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was developed and implemented by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. They recognized that citizens would very likely be on their own during the early stages of a catastrophic disaster. Accordingly, LAFD decided that some basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills would improve the ability of citizens to survive and to safely help others until responders or other assistance could arrive.

The training model that the LAFD initiated was adopted by other fire departments around the country including communities where the major threats are hurricanes rather than earthquakes. Building on this development, in 1994 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) expanded the CERT materials to make them applicable to all hazards and made the program available to communities nationwide. Since that time, thousands of dedicated trainers, organizations, and citizens have embraced the responsibility to learn new skills and become prepared to execute safe and effective emergency response.