The idea for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program originated during the late-1980s through the The Los Angeles Fire Department. Then in 1993, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) made the program available across the country to help train citizens in disaster response skills.
CERT members can assist their community during a major emergency when professional help is unavailable. The FEMA CERT Basic Training includes lessons in fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster triage and team organization. CERTs can be found across the country, including at the county and city level, as well as on college and high school campuses. FGCU’s CERT is a student organization, which is an adaptation of the above FEMA program, tailored to our campus and community. Our program is designed for students, faculty, and staff at FGCU who receive both the CERT Basic Training as well as advanced training in specific areas to maximize our effectiveness.
CERT MembershipHere you will get a sense of what it means to be a CERT member, expectations of each member, and how to sign up!
A general member includes students, faculty and/or staff that have begun but not completed the CERT Basic Units 1-9 Training. While student members should not generally be called upon to serve in emergencies, activations, scheduled drills, or exercises, FGCU EM recognizes that during extraordinary circumstances and as needed, general members may be asked to assist with recovery efforts only to the extent of their completed training and only with FGCU EM approval.
A probationary member has successfully completed the CERT Basic Units 1-9 Training, completed a satisfactory background check, and been placed with their local team for a six-month probationary period awaiting the verification of their team chief. Once their status as a CERT member has been verified and it is determined they are still in good standing with the organization, they will be issued permanent credentials by FGCU EM and be considered an active member of their team. Good standing includes actively participating in monthly team meetings, advanced and refresher training classes, and planned events. Also note that if deployed at this time, it will also be on a probationary status.
An active member has successfully completed the CERT Basic Units 1-9 Training, completed a satisfactory background check, passed the probationary period with their local team, and received the FGCU CERT ID Card. They are also considered in good standing by team leadership and actively participating in monthly team meetings, advanced and refresher training classes, and planned events.
Once a member has completed CERT Basic Units 1-9 Training, they will participate in a graduation ceremony and receive their certificate of completion. Members will also receive a FGCU CERT response bag, FGCU CERT shirt, and credentials. It is required that each member complete, or verify with Human Resources if already completed for employment, a successful background check. After graduation, members are expected to commit to a minimum of one year of volunteer service to the FGCU CERT team and the FGCU CERT program.