What is CERT?
North Okaloosa Community Emergency Response Team is a team of people who believe that emergency preparedness is everyone's responsibility. By educating and training before a disaster happens, we hope to increase the resilience of our community and the safety of our neighbors, our families, and ourselves.
The CERT program is a Citizen Corps program, sponsored by FEMA for the purpose of preparing community volunteers ahead of disasters. You can learn more about CERT as a whole at this website. North Okaloosa CERT serves the communities of Crestview, Baker, Laurel Hill, Niceville and all other areas in North Okaloosa County, Florida. Although we are based there, we work frequently with other local CERTs in Fort Walton Beach, Navarre, Escambia County and elsewhere.
What is CERT Training?
Basic CERT training consists of a 20 hour Basic Course in which students learn the fundamental skills necessary in emergencies. Some of these skills include:
CERT training is designed for adults 18 and older, although we are working with Crestview High School to put together a Teen CERT program for high-school students. All CERT members must pass a background check and will be issued credentials by the county to certify their membership.
Training doesn't end with the Basic Course. We have advanced courses in Emergency Communications, Firefighter Rehab, Traffic & Crowd Control, Ham Radio Technicians course, and More! Some of our team members are volunteer firefighters, EMTs, security guards, doctors, pastors, members of the armed forces, day care workers, and more. There is something for everyone in CERT. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed!