Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)


The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program offers members of the public an opportunity to learn basic hands-on disaster response techniques and life-saving skills to utilize in their own homes and neighborhoods. This 100% volunteer program was developed by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985 and implemented nationally by FEMA in 1993. CERT members train for a minimum 27 hours of classroom and 3 hours hands on practical skills in the following areas before becoming a registered volunteer:

  • Disaster preparedness
  • Fire safety & utility controls
  • Light search and rescue
  • Team organization
  • Disaster psychology
  • Terrorism response
  • Disaster medical operations

You can take a portion of the class online - at your own pace. Once completed Chicago OEMC will host an in-person class to complete the hands-on portion of the training.

This online course satisfies the lecture portion of CERT Basic Training. To receive a certificate of full course completion, you must also complete the hands-on, practical portion of the training provided by your local CERT program. 

To sign up for the training's online portion, visit the University of Utah's Online Course.

For more information on the training course and how to become a CERT volunteer scan the QR code or click the links below.

CERT Hybrid Training  CERT Hybrid Training for Hearing Impaired Flyer  CERT Testimonial

    CERT QR Code   


Upon completion of the class, participants have the option to become a Chicago Citizen Corps CERT volunteer and assist professional emergency services in various deployments. Past participants have played a role in emergency exercises and assisted the City of Chicago during various large-scale emergencies such as the response to COVID-19, Emergency Operations Center activations, and other natural disasters. Other special events that CERT volunteers assist in are the Chicago Air and Water Show, St. Patrick’s River Dyeing, Chicago Marathon, Summertime beach safety patrols, and more.

Monthly Training for CERT Volunteers

CERT volunteers also participate in monthly training sessions to maintain and enhance their preparedness skills. These monthly training sessions include CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation), Stop The Bleed® (STB), and other vital safety courses. The training is free to participants and funded by a Federal grant program issued through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Chicago CERT team is managed by the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) with assistance from the Chicago Fire Department and Chicago Police Department. Classes are typically offered at least 4 times a year.

For more information and registration details contact or go to 


CERT Training Videos:

Fire Suppression 1

Fire Suppression 2