The Arlington Community Emergency Response Team (ArlCERT) is a volunteer group of Arlington community members trained to save lives and reduce injuries in Arlington in a major disaster when activated by the County. In less than major disaster situations, CERT-trained Good Samaritans save lives and reduce injuries wherever they are. Since 2002 over 800 Arlington community members have been trained.
Training is free and provided at the Fire Training Academy by instructors from the Arlington County Fire and Police Departments, Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department, and trained CERT volunteers. Topics include disaster preparedness, disaster medical operations (triage and first aid), fire suppression, utility shutoff, search and rescue, team organization, disaster psychology, and terrorism awareness. A final exercise pulls together many of the concepts in a series of simulations. Basic CERT training takes about 33 hours over 7-9 weeks.
After completing CERT Basic Training, CERT Teammates join their neighborhood team and participate in activities such as neighborhood team meetings, refresher or advanced training, role-playing in training exercises for first responders, and supporting community preparedness events such as the Arlington County “Until Help Arrives” program.
CERT training is open to all Arlington residents, and those who work full-time in the County, who are 18 years of age or older, or 16 or 17 if accompanied by a parent or guardian. CERT training typically involves some lifting, carrying, and working on the floor. However, training will be modified to use each person’s abilities to the maximum. Applicants must pass a national criminal background check to be accepted.
Training sessions start in March and September 2019. Due to the limited number of seats, priority is given to those intending to make a long-term commitment to working with their neighborhood CERT. For more information about the Arlington CERT, please visit https://emergency.arlingtonva.us/get-involved/cert/. If you are interested in joining, please email: CERTArlingtonVA@gmail.com