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Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)


The Northshore Emergency Management Coalition (NEMCo) is announcing the first of four Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs for 2024!  The CERT basic curriculum teaches community residents how to prepare themselves, their families and neighbors for an emergency, disaster or other community incident. Regardless of your age, background, experience or capabilities, there is something you can do to help yourself, your family and your community.  Classes are presented by trained CERT instructors in the areas of Fire Safety, Basic First Aid, Disaster Medical Operations, Light Search & Rescue, Utility Management, and overall preparedness.

CERT is for everyone! Topics are presented in an easy-to-understand, step-by-step process, with hands-on training to build your knowledge and skills. After some class practice, you and your classmates will participate in a disaster simulation to give you the opportunity to apply what you have learned and build confidence in your new skills and abilities.    

The next CERT course will be in a seven-week format, on Thursday nights, 6:00-9:00pm, March 28 through May 9, with the simulation on May 11.   We will repeat these offerings in August and September if you are unable to attend the upcoming classes.  Hope to see you there!

After completing this CERT course, the opportunities do not end.  Join us at NEMCo to become one of our CERT or community members who serve our Northshore community, police, and fire departments throughout the year by participating at community events and so much more.  NEMCo also offers additional training in GMRS Emergency Radio Communications, amateur radio (ham) communications, Emergency Operations Center management, its drone program, and teaches additional emergency skill sets with more specialized member training through our monthly training program.


The 2024 CERT Basic Classes will be:​​

  • 3-day Format: August 3/4 and August 10

  • 7 week Format: Thursday nights from September 12 - October 24 from 6-9pm and October 26 for simulation

MEETINGS.  Please see our All Volunteer and CERT meetings page for additional meeting information

If you are excited about learning CERT skills and participating as a NEMCo volunteer, check out our Membership page!


CERT Basic Training Resources

The CERT Basic Training includes research-validated guidance for CERT programs to teach members what to do before, during and after the hazards their communities may face.  

The materials available below include:

  • Instructor guides

  • Participant manuals

  • Hazard annex slide decks 

  • NEMCo specific materials and forms

Resource Links



CERT is an organization of volunteer emergency workers who have received specific training in basic disaster response skills with the intent of supplementing existing emergency responders in the event of a major emergency, disaster, or utilizing their skills to assist family members and neighbors.

Following a major disaster, local Fire, Police, City, and other first responders may not be able to meet the demand for their services. Residents and visitors to our community may need to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life-sustaining needs.

The NEMCo CERT program will educate participants about local hazards, basic disaster preparedness, and provide hands on training that includes fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. After completing the CERT academy, volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in additional drills and exercises to keep their skills sharp and continue to enhance their knowledge and abilities.

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About Us

CERT training is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-based curriculum designed to teach adults of all ages and abilities how to help themselves, their families, and their neighbors during an emergency or disaster when police, fire, and medical services are overwhelmed.

The NEMCo CERT academy offers a full eight-week CERT training course. CERT graduates become members of their neighborhood's CERT team and can join NEMCo. Ongoing monthly training and skill refresher classes are offered frequently. CERT team members are invited to participate in local drills. CERT leaders and instructors are available for public outreach engagements (like wellness fairs), and are available to give disaster preparedness presentations to community groups and organizations.

The NEMCo CERT program will educate participants about local hazards, basic disaster preparedness, and provide hands-on training that includes fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. After completing the CERT academy, volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in additional drills and exercises to keep their skills sharp and continue to enhance their knowledge and abilities.

NW Region Risks

We offer CERT because our region is ranked number four in the U.S.A. for being disaster-prone. A disaster is a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, that causes great damage or loss of life. In a disaster, first responders will be overwhelmed and CERT-trained volunteers have the skills to help themselves, their families, neighborhoods, and the community. The Washington​ Emergency Management Division recommends being Two Weeks Ready.

If you asked people to list the hazards and risks in Western Washington, most would include winter storms, power outages, flooding, forest fires, earthquakes, volcanoes, liquefaction, lahars and now pandemics. The Northshore Council PTSA has a useful website that explains why we should prepare and provides information about types of hazards. NEMCo has a Preparedness page that provides a simple 4-step process for being prepared to handle these hazards.

NEMCo offers Teens CERT training, sponsored by FEMA, a national program of volunteers trained in disaster preparedness and emergency response. CERT training teaches students about the potential disasters that could affect this area and how to safely and responsibly respond to them. Through  CERT Students can serve the community and help take care of their schools and homes. Students will fulfill 24 hours of Community Service Hours towards graduation and college applications. There will also have be other volunteer opportunities to obtain service hours during the year.  

In Northshore School District, Woodinville High School (WHS), now offers a one-semester elective CERT course (VEC100) to students grades 9 to 12.  In addition to CERT, students will participate in the American Heart Association (AHA) first aid training (certification upon demonstration of knowledge and skills), radio communications, active shooter training, and other emergency response skills. NEMCo is proud to participate in this training and recommends it to all our students. Click here for more information


  • Disaster Preparedness: Addresses hazards specific to the community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during, and after a disaster, as well as an overview of CERT and local laws governing volunteers.

  • Fire Suppression: Covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards, and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, controlling utilities, and extinguishing a small fire.

  • Medical Operations Part I: Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.

  • Medical Operations Part II: Covers evaluating patients by doing a head-to-toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area, and performing basic first aid.

  • Light Search and Rescue Operations: Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques, and rescuer safety.

  • Psychology and Team Organization: Covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and workers, and addresses CERT organization and management.

  • Course Review and Disaster Simulation: Participants review and practice the skills that they have learned during the previous six sessions in a disaster activity.

CERT Curriculum

The CERT Basic Course is delivered in the community by a team of first responders and other WA Stae credntialed volunteers. The organization and timing of training and meeting varies from program to program. It is  broken up into three-hour blocks over a series of evenings, weekdays, or weekends.

What can I do in advance of the class?

All participants can obtain a FEMA Student Identification (SID) Number (PDF) and take the online FEMA Independent Study course IS-317.


  • IS-317 is an introduction to CERT. Completing the online training ahead of time will allow us to minimize lecturing from PowerPoints and instead, focus on hands-on experience during our class time. 

  • Bring a copy of your completion certificate, which FEMA will email to you.

Please consider taking the following:

Opportunties after you Join NEMCo CERT
National CERT Association (NCA) is a new organization created by CERT Leaders across the US in partnership with FEMA
You can continue your training beyond basic CERT. The National Qualification System (NQS) Position Task Book (PTB) documents the performance criteria that a CERT trainee must meet to be certified for a position within the NQS. The PTB identifies the competencies, behaviors, and tasks that personnel should demonstrate to become qualified for a defined incident management and support position. The performance criteria are associated with core NQS competencies, behaviors, and tasks.


Descriptions of the NQS CERT positions:

Position Task Book (PTB):

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