Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Register Now for Fairfax County CERT Fall 2013 Training

If you've been eagerly awaiting the chance to take Community Emergency Response Team training, this is the news you've been waiting for! Registration is now open for Fairfax County CERT's fall classes -- they're filling up fast, so register now (then, tell your friends):
CERT students help a victim actor during the spring 2013 graduation exercise. Photo: Joe Loong.


This is the main CERT class we rave about. Despite the name, there are no prerequisites, so jump right in -- it's open to all adults over 18 who live or work in Fairfax County. And it's free!

There are two CERT II classes starting in September; both classes will meet at the Fire and Rescue Academy in Fairfax, from 7-10PM, weekly for seven weeks:
  • Class 73 is Monday evenings, starting on September 9th and ending October 28.
  • Class 74 is Wednesday evenings, starting on September 11th and ending October 30th.
CERT II classes are taught by experts from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, and combine classroom instruction with hands-on training. 
You'll learn how to save lives with duct tape and Sharpie markers; conduct triage and disaster medical operations; put out small fires; perform search and rescue; prepare for disasters: and much, much more.

Plus, you'll get a backpack of CERT rescue gear that you'll use in training, including during a realistic, full-scale graduation exercise.

To Register for CERT Training:

Visit and log in. If you don't have a training account, you'll need to register. After you've logged in:
  1. Click the "Training" tab in the navigation bar
  2. Select "Training Calendar"
  3. Click the right arrow (>>) to show September's classes
  4. Click on the CERT II class you want
Important Technical Note: The site works best with Firefox and Chrome web browsers. Internet Explorer and mobile users may have problems registering. If you're unable to register, please email your name and which class you want to attend to

CERT Basic

There's an additional class opportunity for CERT Basic. CERT Basic covers most of the same material as CERT II, and is taught by volunteer CERT instructors at a location in the community -- in this case, the Greater Springfield Volunteer Fire Department in Springfield.

The CERT Basic class (Class 75) is also on Wednesday evenings, beginning September 11th and finishing October 30th.

You can register at; following the instructions above and choose CERT Class 75.

 Other Training and Volunteer Opportunities

Here are some additional training and volunteer opportunities around the area:
  • Saturday, August 17: Crime Scene Management for CBRNE Incidents, with DC CERT. 9AM-5PM, Washington, DC. Gain awareness on how to manage a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE) crime scene. The event is full, but you can sign up for the waiting list.
  • Sunday, August 18: Advanced Urban Search and Rescue (SAR) Exercise, with DELMARVA Search and Rescue and Prince George's County CERT SAR Team. All-day event in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. Search for victims in a realistic rubble pile, or help support the event while using the Incident Command System. Register at, using the instructions above to find "CERTEX 2013 - PG County" on 8/18.
  • Thursday, Sept. 19: Citizens Fire and Rescue Academy. A nine-week course for citizens to learn about the Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department. Apply by August 23, 2013. Get more information and apply at
  • Tuesday, Sept. 24: Fort Belvoir Eagle Response Emergency Exercise 2013. Volunteer to be a victim actor for a mass casualty scenario. If interested, email by August 22, and include your 1. email address, 2. phone number, 3. age, 4. any hot weather-related medical concerns, and 5. organization you're with.

In the coming weeks, we'll talk more about the CERT II training, including what to expect, how to get the most from it, and more. In the meantime, register now for the CERT II classes starting in September! (And if you're already a CERT, tell your friends and share the news about the fall training dates.)