Jackson County, Oregon, USA

 Jackson County Wildfire Information Map

September 26, 2023
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Community Emergency Response Team (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.

CERTs may participate in activities such as emergency shelters, evacuating residents during wild fires, re-routing traffic around accidents and monitoring and supporting firefighters (rehab) during extended incidents.

CERT Basic Training is held at least once per year and includes both classroom learning and field exercises. The training covers a variety of topics including:

  • Disaster Preparedness – At the conclusion of this lesson, participants will be able to: describe the types of hazards that are most likely to affect their community; describe the functions of CERTs; and identify the steps to prepare themselves for a disaster.
  • Fire Safety – At the conclusion of this lesson, participants will be able to: explain the role of CERTs in fire safety; identify and reduce potential fire risks in the home and workplace; conduct a basic “size-up” for a fire emergency; utility control, buddy system, and backup teams; identify the locations of hazardous materials in the community and home, and reduce the risk from hazardous materials in the home. Participants will also be able to: operate a portable fire extinguisher correctly; understand minimum safety precautions, including safety equipment.
  • Disaster Medical Operations (two part series) – teaches how to recognize and treat Life-Threatening Conditions, Triage, Public Health Considerations, Functions of Disaster Medical Operations, Disaster Medical Treatment Areas, Patient Evaluation, Basic Treatment. At the conclusion of lesson #1, participants will be able to: identify the “killers;” apply techniques for opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; conduct triage under simulated disaster conditions. And at the conclusion of lesson #2, participants will be able to: take appropriate sanitation measures to protect public health; perform head-to-toe patient assessments; establish a treatment area; apply splints to suspected fractures and sprains, and employ basic treatments for other wounds.
  • Search and Rescue – How to identify size-up requirements for potential search and rescue situations teams will operate within. Students will also learn safe techniques for lifting, leveraging, cribbing, and victim removal use safe techniques for debris removal and victim extrication; describe ways to protect rescuers during search and rescue and describe the most common techniques for searching a structure.
  • CERT organization – learn the nuts of bolts of Community Emergency Response Teams and their functions including Rescuer Safety, Documentation requirements, Team Organization, and how CERTs interrelate with ICS; explain documentation requirements.
  • Disaster Psychology – The psychological impact of a disaster on rescuers and victims and how to provide “psychological first aid.” Caring for Yourself, Your Buddy, and Victims: Steps one can take individually and as part of a CERT before, immediately following, and after a disaster. Participants will be able to describe the post-disaster emotional environment; describe the steps that rescuers can take to relieve their own stressors and those of disaster survivors.
  • Terrorism – Students will learn the definition of terrorism and terrorist goals, how terrorists choose their targets, the weapons that terrorists are known or are suspected to have and the risk posed by various terrorist weapons, cues that help to identify a when a terrorist attack may have occurred or may be imminent, ways to prepare for a terrorist incident, and CERT protocols for terrorist incidents and protective action following an event.
  • Radio Communications – This training will provide an overview of two-way radios including the Kenwood model and FRS radios (primarily used by CERT members in Ashland). Students will handle each model and gain familiarity with the radios, their use, and proper communication with a radio. Participants will also learn about opportunities to train as a HAM radio operator.

Whether you are planning on joining a local CERT or, you simply want to learn how to survive a disaster in relative comfort and security, while helping others, you’ll want to take this Basic Training.

Four CERT programs are active in Jackson County. In addition to their basic CERT mission, some of the CERT programs assist their sponsoring organizations and Jackson County with specialized tasks. Click on the links below for more information about each group.

Ashland CERT
Central Point CERT
Jacksonville CERT
Medford CERT