Community Emergency Response Team


Volunteer Training for Local Community Preparedness

When there is an emergency or disaster, first responders can become overwhelmed or have a delayed response due to damaged infrastructure. If you were a bystander and someone needed you to take simple life-saving measures, would you know what to do? If you’d like to learn important lifesaving skills and make a tremendous difference in your community, then the Community Emergency Response Team program is for you!

The Newport News Division of Emergency Management is currently enrolling new volunteers who would like to join the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Volunteers will first complete online training at their convenience from home and on their own schedule. Participants will learn the principles of disaster preparedness, medical operations, fire safety, disaster psychology, light search and rescue, terrorism and CERT. The Newport News CERT online training can be accessed from any device and there is support for those who may be new to online training.

Upon successful completion of the online portion, volunteers will then join professionals in field training to learn all of the hands-on skills such as: medical operations, light search and rescue, fire suppression, radio communications, patient transport, and the incident command system.

Getting Started

Classes are offered twice per year with the online portion beginning at the end of August and March. Upon completion of the online portion, field training is held each Thursday night from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM for seven consecutive weeks. Classes typically begin the second week of September and April and conclude mid-October and mid-May. Attendance is required for all classes since students work together as a team. Each team is gradually challenged more with each week until it is fully prepared to respond to a simulated mass casualty incident. Applicants are highly encouraged to recruit neighbors, family members, or co-workers to take the training with them, if possible.

There is no cost to citizens to take the CERT course, however, there is a cost to the City of Newport News for this online training, which is paid for with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. So, please only register for this course if you intend to complete it. Enrollment is open to all Newport News residents 18 or over who complete a background check. The class size is limited to no more than 25 students.

If you were having an emergency, wouldn’t you want the person standing next to you to be CERT trained? Be that person and join us to perform the greatest good for the greatest number!