CERT Basic Training


Precautions for Basic CERT training.

AAACERT is confident that we can provide you the same level of quality instruction and the right level of safe, inter-personal interaction.  But, as you might expect, we have had to make adjustments to consider the impact of the pandemic.  Here are the changes.  Please read them carefully.

  1. The classroom portion of the instruction has been moved from the Fire Training Academy in Millersville to the training area in the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management (OEM).  Here are the details on this training space and our precautions to make it a safe learning environment:
      1. The building is located at 7480 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd, Glen Burnie, MD 21061.  For those familiar with the area, it is right next to the District Court House, about one block in from Ritchie Highway.
      2. There is free parking in an adjacent parking garage.
      3. The building is secure and visitors have been limited during the pandemic.  The entire building is cleaned and disinfected multiple times during the day.  We will be in the back area of the building which has experienced even less people traffic.
      4. The training area is arranged with separate tables.  There will be one person seated at each table.  Chairs will be separated by a physical distance of 6-8’.
  2. General Safety Precautions
      1. You will be asked NOT to show up if you have a fever or other recognized symptoms of the illness.  We will work with you on a way to complete the instruction at a later date.
      2. Your temperature will be taken when you arrive and you will complete a standard 3-question, questionnaire.  Hand sanitizer will be available upon entry.
      3. You may bring but we will supply disposable masks, surgical-type gloves (in small, medium, and large sizes), hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, and face shields.
      4. We will limit the class size to 8 class members plus two instructors.
      5. The materials we are providing you (backpack and contents) have been in storage since last January and untouched.  You keep and do not share these materials.
      6. You must wear a mask at all times except during eating or drinking.
  3. Personal Interaction – You can’t help someone if you can’t touch them.
      1. Basic CERT includes personal interaction – dressing wounds, setting splints and slings, head-to-toe assessments, doing triage, carrying survivors to safety.
      2. When doing so, you will be asked to wear a mask and a light-weight face shield (note:  you will receive a face shield at the beginning of class and it will be yours) and gloves.
      3. Close interaction will be limited to the exercise and we will strive to do them very efficiently.
  4. Instruction hours
      1. Hours for Friday and Saturday remain the same (6pm-9pm on Friday and 8am-5pm on Saturday).  Sunday’s hours are extended (now 8am-5pm instead of 8am-3pm) to accommodate additional classroom training on that day.
      2. Since it is a secure facility, you must arrive at least 15 minutes before start of class as there is some distance between the front door and the classroom area and we have check-in procedures.
  5. The Major Exercises – fire extinguisher training, triage exercise, and disaster simulation
      1. All major exercises will be conducted at the Fire Training Academy in Millersville.
      2. We are restricted to the “yard” (that’s the area with the burnt out buildings and overturned cars — conducive to a disaster scenario) and two outside buildings – only 1 is air conditioned.
      3. Masks, gloves, and face shields will be required.  Please bring them (but we will have supplies as well).


  • This is the same quality instruction that we have provided in all of our previous classes and includes the same interpersonal connections (just performed safely and more efficiently).
  • This instruction will be very real world.  AAACERT has been activated since March 20, 2020 and has participated in thousands of hours of pandemic-related volunteer hours.  We have worn masks and gloves, have performed real first aid, and have been subjected to real world environments (excessive heat and rain).  So, your major exercises will be even more realistic.
  • This is great timing for better preparedness and response education.


Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training

During an emergency or following a major disaster, first responders may not be able to meet the increased demand for their services. The CERT program educates community members about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using this training, CERT-trained individuals can assist others in their family, their neighborhood, and their community until first responders arrive.

Anne Arundel – Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) is pleased to provide this CERT Basic Training. Our 21-hour course teaches these skills using updated FEMA-supplied materials, incorporating practical exercises, and culminating with a disaster scenario in a realistic environment.

For whom is the training designed?

The target audience for this course are individuals who desire the skills and knowledge required to prepare for and respond to a disaster. The minimum age is 16 and there is no maximum age. Everyone participates to the extent that they can, given individual constraints.



Early Spring 2021

  • Friday, March 19, 2021 — 6:00pm to 9:00pm
  • Saturday, March 20, 2021 — 8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Sunday, March 21, 2021 — 8:00am to 4:00pm
  • Sunday, March 28, 2021 — 12:30pm to 4:30pm

The Early Spring 2021 class is complete. Congratulations to our graduates!

Late Spring 2021

  • Friday, April 23, 2021 — 6:00pm to 9:00pm
  • Saturday, April 24, 2021 — 8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Sunday, April 25, 2021 — 8:00am to 4:00pm
  • Sunday, May 2, 2021 — 12:30pm to 4:30pm

Fall 2021

  • Friday, October 1, 2021 — 6:00pm to 9:00pm
  • Saturday, October 2, 2021 — 8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Sunday, October 3, 2021 — 8:00am to 4:00pm
  • Sunday, October 10, 2021 — 12:30pm to 4:30pm

Registration for the Fall will open in the July timeframe when we have better guidance on the state of the pandemic and our ability to host larger classes.  To be put on our mailing list, send your contact information to training@aaacert.org.

Registration for the Fall 2021 class will open in July.

We intend to proceed with these classes. However, if circumstances change and we are required to cancel a class, you will have the option to transfer to a later class at no additional cost or receive a full refund (including Eventbrite fees).

If YOU need to cancel at least seven days prior to the beginning of class, you can receive a full refund LESS Eventbrite fees or you can request that your registration be moved to a later class.

If you cancel at seven days prior to the beginning of the class or less, you limit opportunities for others to register. We will not refund the registration fee but will work with you on a later class registration if the cancellation is due to illness or extreme family-related circumstances.

What must I do before taking CERT Basic Training?

You must complete the following two, free on-line FEMA Emergency Management Institute courses prior to start of class on Day 1:

          1.  IS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS)

          2.  IS-700: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System

If you don’t have one already, you must register for a FEMA Student ID (SID), which is free.

After you have completed each course, take the on-line exam. If you pass the exam by getting at least 75 percent of the answers correct, FEMA will email you a link to a printable certificate (in PDF format) to verify your completion of each course. Please forward the two FEMA emails with the links to the certificates, or e-mail PDFs of the two certificates, to training@aaacert.org.

How long does it take to complete a FEMA on-line course, including the exam?

Although the FEMA course descriptions state that each on-line course takes up to three hours to complete, students generally complete each course and then take an on-line exam to certify completion of the course in a little more than half that time.

You must complete all prerequisites and all units in the CERT Basic Training to receive your nationally recognized Certificate of Completion.

Overall Course Objectives 

Upon completing this course, the participants should be able to:

  1. Describe the types of hazards that are most likely to affect their homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods.
  2. Take steps to prepare themselves and their families for a disaster.
  3. Describe the functions of CERTs and their role in immediate response.
  4. Identify and reduce potential fire hazards in their homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods.
  5. Work as a team to apply basic fire suppression strategies, resources, and safety measures to extinguish a pan fire.
  6. Apply techniques for opening airways, controlling excessive bleeding, and treating for shock.
  7. Conduct triage under simulated disaster conditions.
  8. Perform head-to-toe patient assessments.
  9. Select and set up a treatment area.
  10. Employ basic treatments for various injuries and apply splints to suspected fractures and sprains.
  11. Identify planning and size up requirements for potential search and rescue situations.
  12. Describe the most common techniques for searching a structure.
  13. Work as a team to apply safe techniques for debris removal and victim extrication.
  14. Describe ways to protect rescuers during search and rescue operations.
  15. Describe the post-disaster emotional environment and the steps that rescuers can take to relieve their own stressors and those of disaster survivors.
  16. Describe CERT organization and documentation requirements.

In addition to the overall course objectives listed above, each unit has specific objectives.

CERT Basic Training Outline


Unit 1 – Disaster Preparedness
– Community Preparedness: Roles and Responsibilities
– Hazards and Their Potential Impact
– Impact on the Infrastructure
– Home and Workplace Preparedness
– Reducing the Impact of Hazards Through Mitigation
– CERT Disaster Response
– Protection for Disaster Workers
– Additional Training for CERTs

Unit 2 – CERT Organization
– CERT Organization
– CERT Mobilization
– Documentation

Unit 3 – Disaster Medical Operations — Part 1
– Treating Life-Threatening Conditions
– Triage

Unit 4 – Disaster Medical Operations — Part 2
– Public Health Considerations
– Functions of Disaster Medical Operations
– Establishing Medical Treatment Areas
– Conducting Head-to-Toe Assessments
– Treating Burns
– Wound Care
– Treating Fractures, Dislocations, Sprains, and Strains
– Nasal Injuries
– Treating Cold-Related Injuries
– Treating Heat-Related Injuries
– Bites and Stings

Unit 5 – Disaster Psychology
– Disaster Trauma
– Team Well-Being
– Working with Survivors’ Trauma

Unit 6 – Fire Safety and Utility Controls
– Fire Chemistry
– Fire and Utility Hazards
– CERT Sizeup
– Fire Sizeup Considerations
– Firefighting Resources
– Fire Suppression Safety
– Hazardous Materials
– Exercise: Proper use of a fire extinguisher to extinguish small fires

Unit 7 – Light Search and Rescue Operations
– Safety During Search and Rescue Operations
– Conducting Interior and Exterior Search Operations
– Conducting Rescue Operations Exercise
– Exercise: Search and simple triage

Unit 8 – Terrorism and CERT
– What Is Terrorism?
– Terrorist Targets
– Terrorist Weapons
– CBRNE Indicators
– Preparing at Home, Work, and in Your Neighborhood
– CERTs and Terrorist Incidents

Unit 9 – Functional Needs, Course Review, Final Exam, and Disaster Simulation
– Course Review
– Final Exam
– Exercise: Disaster Simulation
– Exercise Critique and Summary

Course dates, times, and content are subject to change. Changes will be made on this post.


If you have any questions, please contact training@aaacert.org.

We look forward to having you!

Be Prepared. Have a Plan.