The National CERT Association created National CERT Week, September 21-27, to recognize the efforts of Community Emergency Response Teams all over the country. As part of the celebration, which coincides with National Preparedness Month, CERT teams are asked to share memories from their years of operation.
The first CERT team was created in 1986 with the goal of creating citizen volunteers equipped to provide assistance during disaster response. CERT graduates go through a nationally approved training program to learn about fire safety, light search and rescue, first aid and CPR, traffic management, team organization, and disaster medical operations. The assistance provided by CERT volunteers frees up professional emergency responders to focus on more specialized tasks during a crisis.
There are more than 2,800 CERT programs across the country. Our local CERT team graduated its first class in 2012 through the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management. In 2019, the City of Bainbridge Island graduated its first class under local management. To find out more about Bainbridge Island CERT, click here. Here are a few images from our eight years of service!