What is CERT?

The Community Emergency Response Team (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.

Local government prepares for everyday emergencies. However, during a disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency services. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable program is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation.
CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens may initially be on their own and where their actions can make a difference. While people will respond to others in need without the training, one goal of the CERT program is to help them do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger. In CERT training, citizens learn to:

manage utilities and put out small fires,

treat the three medical killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock,

provide basic medical aid,

search for and rescue victims safely,

organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective,

and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.


Local government prepares for everyday emergencies. However, there can be an emergency or disaster that can overwhelm the community's immediate response capability. While adjacent jurisdictions, State and Federal resources can activate to help, there may be a delay for them getting to those who need them. The primary reason for CERT training is to give people the decision-making, organizational, and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors, and associates while waiting for help. While people will respond to others in need without the training, the goal of the CERT program is to help people do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.


CERT members receive 20 hours (one day a week for seven weeks) of initial training. The 7-week course is followed by full-day biannual refresher drills, and an opportunity to assist the SFD at local incidents. After certification and swearing in CERT members are expected to attend 2 1/2 hours of further training and refresher courses or meetings of at least once per month with exception of the month of August where no meetings are held.
CERT is provided free of charge within the town of Southington to anyone 18 years of age or older.
Classes are taught once a week usually over a period of a few months, in the evenings, at Southington Fire Department Headquarters.
To register for a class, call our contact person to verify the date, time and location of the next class.

CERT contact:

Fire Administration
(860) 621-3202 x 8133

Please give your name, phone number, and zip code or you may stop down to the SFD HQ and ask for a CERT Application.
When a class is scheduled in Southington, they will contact you.
The Southington's CERT Training only conducts non-discriminatory classes. Non-discrimination includes race, religion, gender, and group affiliations.


The town of Southington has taken an aggressive role in protecting the citizens of Southington by creating the Southington CERT team under the supervision of the Southington Fire Department.

The initial Southington CERT was sworn in on January 21, 2009 with a class of 23 volunteers and subsequently added a second class of 27 volunteers by the summer. Our 3rd class was sworn in on 14 January 2010 bringing our organization to 100 strong. Southington CERT volunteers include 10 Registered Nurses and over a dozen Amateur Radio operators and is still growing.

How does CERT benefit Southington?

People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or workplace. If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, CERT members can apply the training learned in the classroom and during exercises to give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until help arrives. When help does arrive, CERTs provide useful information to responders and support their efforts, as directed, at the disaster site. CERT members can also assist with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community. CERTs can been used to distribute and/or install smoke alarms, distribute Flu Shots and H1N1 vacines, distribute disaster education material, provide services at special events, such as parades, and more.