Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985. They recognized that training citizens in basic disaster survival and rescue skills would greatly improve the ability of citizens to survive until first responders or other assistance could arrive.

This training proved to be so beneficial that The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) believed that the concept and the program should be made available to communities nationwide. In 1994 the Emergency Management Institute, a division of FEMA, expanded the CERT format to make it applicable to all hazards. In 2003, President Bush asked all Americans to volunteer in the service of their country.

The Citizens Corps program was created to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to  respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds. The methods used to achieve this goal include harnessing the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service. CERT was selected as one of the primary programs offered to the American public to meet this challenge.

The success of the CERT program in the City of Rochester has been noted by FEMA and The Rochester Fire Department. The Rochester CERT  program has been instrumental in establishing CERT curriculum in New York State. The RFD plans to continue providing our citizens with basic CERT training and enhanced refresher training including CPR and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) Operation.

Members of the community can sign up by contacting the CERT coordinator at (585) 428-1363 or by sending an email to Battalion Chief Joseph Luna at


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