• Scott Waguespack

OEMC is Offering Online Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training for Residents

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is announcing a first-time virtual Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program. The training is FREE of charge to all interested participants, this new course engages users through an online platform utilized to complete 12 hours of virtual CERT training followed by 16 hours of in-person, hands on training sessions. Due to COVID-19, hands-on training will be scheduled in Spring/Summer 2021.


The CERT program offers members of the public an opportunity to learn basic hands-on disaster response techniques and life-saving skills to utilize in their own homes and neighborhoods. This 100% volunteer program was developed by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985 and implemented nationally by FEMA in 1993. CERT training teaches practical skills in the following areas:

  • Disaster preparedness

  • Fire safety & utility controls

  • Light search and rescue

  • Team organization

  • Disaster psychology

  • Terrorism response

  • Disaster medical operations

Past participants have played a role in emergency exercises and assisted the City of Chicago during various large-scale emergencies such as the response to COVID-19, Emergency Operations Center activations, and following other natural disasters. This year participants worked with CDPH to manage the COVID19 hotline and at various testing sites.


Provided by the University of Utah Health, the training software affords users the option to complete the training at their discretion. At the end of this course all students will receive a certificate of completion for the online portion of the course. Eligibility to become certified as a CERT volunteer is based on the completion of the 12-hour online training followed by attending the 16-hours of practical sessions.


Chicago residents can sign up for this class by visiting the following website to create a free account: https://cert.hazready.com/HazReady/Home. Once you have created an account please register for the following class: ONLINE TRAINING - Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) 2020.1.3. Courses are also available in Spanish.