If you’d like to join the growing ranks of Arlington residents who are better prepared for and able to respond to emergencies, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training may be for you. To-date, over 450 County residents have completed this eight-session training program and many have continued on to be members of neighborhood CERTs. The hands-on training takes place over a six-to-eight week period on six weeknights (Tuesdays or Thursdays) and two Saturday mornings. It follows a national FEMA/DHS curriculum which covers disaster preparedness, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, team organization, disaster psychology, fire suppression and terrorism. All classes meet at the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) Training Academy in Shirlington and are taught by ACFD staff and CERT members. The training is free, but participants are expected to acquire certain supplies themselves, many of which you probably already have on-hand. The training is open to Arlington residents who are at least 18 years of age (16 if accompanied by at least one parent) and able to participate in all aspects of the training, some of which requires lifting and carrying.
Fall classes are scheduled to begin on September 16 and 21 and there are seats available in both that will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance registration is required. If you’d like additional information or would like to sign up, please contact the program’s volunteer coordinator, Cynthia Kellams, at ArlingtonCERT@aol.com.