Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Mission Statement
“The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members are neighbors helping neighbors, trained and equipped to support safety, life and property preservation while doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people.”

The CERT program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the 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. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations. Through CERT, the capabilities to prepare for respond to and recover from disasters is enhanced.

CERT Functions
  • Provide emergency assistance to survivors in Stafford County and surrounding areas
  •  Serve in emergency preparedness, response and recovery roles (before, during, and after an emergency)
  • Supports community outreach including disaster preparedness education and awareness opportunities in Stafford County and surrounding jurisdictions
  • Other functions (within capability) as directed by the Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management or designee

Normal Operations
  • Support disaster education, initiatives, and community outreach encouraging disaster preparedness, response, and recovery skills
  • Support local / regional disaster exercises and drills
  • Support special events

Emergency Operations
  • Reduce impact of hazards through CERT disaster response; i.e.. Locating and turning off utilities, extinguishing small fires, providing situational awareness to citizens regarding hazards (downed powerlines, impassable roads, flooding, etc.)
  • EOC Operations (staffing, documentation support, communications, runners, and logistics support)
  • On scene augmentation for first responders
  • Disaster Medical Operations (basic first aid and treating life-threatening injuries until professional assistance can be obtained)
  • Light search and rescue operations
  • Windshield surveys
  • Crowd & Traffic Control
  • Support Emergency Reception Center
  • Support Shelter Operations
  • Support Family Assistance Center Operations
  • Delivery of food, water, and other supplies to survivors and or responders
  • Helping those with special needs
  • Helping disaster survivors cope with their emotional stressors

Join the Team
CERT is an essential program in the effort to engage everyone in efforts to make their communities safer, more prepared, and more resilient when incidents occur. To be a part of the Stafford County CERT please follow these steps:

Step 1: Fill out Membership Application - Complete the form and contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 540-658-7200 to arrange for a time when you can turn in records and schedule your background check.

Step 2: Attend monthly CERT Meetings (2nd Thursday of every month at 7pm in the Public Safety Center)

Step 3: Complete the CERT Basic Course – includes 20 hours of free training consisting of classroom instruction and hands-on exercises. The course ends with a final exercise where you apply the skills you've learned. Our current CERT program is for adults 18 and over. Attendance at all class sessions is mandatory.

Step 4: Complete required FEMA Online Courses

Contact Us
For additional information, including upcoming courses and CERT events, please contact the Stafford County CERT Coordinator at