Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services
Contact Us

Joseph F. Williams
COMMISSIONER

John G. Jordan Sr.
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER

Ed Schneyer
Director of the Office of Emergency Management
 
PO BOX 127
YAPHANK, NY
11980-0127
MAIN 631-852-4900
FAX 631-852-4922
SCDFRES@SuffolkCountyny.gov

Suffolk County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)



CERT IMAGEWILL YOU BE READY?       WILL YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO?
 Join Now 
Would you know what to do if you were the first to arrive at the scene of an accident? What if a hurricane or other disaster crippled Suffolk County and left scores of families homeless or in life-threatening danger, would you know what to do?

Would you like to?

The Citizen Corps Council is the County's focal point for matching civil-minded individuals and groups with such vital programs as the Community Emergency Response Team...Volunteers in Police Service...and the Medical Reserve Corps. Volunteer and you'll be trained to play a vital role in supporting emergency personnel whenever an emergency or disaster occurs. Now that you know how you can make a real contribution to the safety and security of Suffolk County...and our nation...give us a call at 1-877-932-9268

Do the right thing.  For your family.  For your community.

 Across America, states and local Citizen Corps Councils are building a grass-roots infrastructure of national preparedness.  Through the Suffolk County Corps Council, civic-minded individuals and groups are being trained to supplement emergency personnel...to help them ensure public safety...to respond when a major crisis threatens to overwhelm the available resources - threats that today are too real.
 Joining one of our programs means you'll receive valuable, professional training absolutely free, as well as the knowledge that you're serving your country and making a genuine contribution to the safety and security of Suffolk County.  Call us at 1-877-WE2-WANTU (1-877-932-9268) and we'll help find the job that's right for you.

Mission Statement

The Suffolk County Community Emergency Response Team's (CERT) mission is to serve and safeguard our community through efficient and effective volunteer service, which helps protect life and property ensuring "the greatest good, for the greatest number." The CERT Program is comprised of volunteer teams who are trained in basic safety and emergency preparedness. This community based program helps provide rapid and safe care for Suffolk County residents in the event of a major incident or large scale disaster. When called upon, Suffolk County CERT volunteers provide basic care, stabilization and information within their communities until emergency responders can arrive on the scene, and upon request, will remain on scene to assist emergency responders as long as necessary. During non-emergency situations, Suffolk County  CERT focuses on public education and awareness to help increase the emergency preparedness of all residents in Suffolk County.

About CERT 

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is an official emergency preparedness program of FEMA. CERT trains community members at no cost on how to safely and CERT CPR TRAININGeffectively prepare for and respond to disasters. CERT empowers people by teaching them the skills to help keep themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods safer. 

The concept of CERT was first developed and implemented by the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985 after a series of devastating earthquakes. While the professional emergency responders were overwhelmed with the catastrophe, thousands were left dead, injured, and without emergency services. Hundreds of citizens spontaneously and heroically sprung into action to rescue others, but tragically more than 100 of them ended up losing their own lives in the process. This event emphasized the need to teach community members life-saving disaster response skills. 

In 1993, the CERT program was made nationally available by FEMA. After September 11, 2001, people in every corner of the country asked, "What can I do?" and "How can I help?" A program named Citizen Corps was created to help all Americans answer these questions. Citizen Corps became the umbrella for five programs: CERT, Medical Reserve Corps, Fire Corps, Volunteers in Police Service, and Neighborhood Watch. All of these programs center on citizens embracing a personal responsibility to be prepared; to get training in first aid and emergency skills; and to volunteer to support local emergency responders, disaster relief, and community safety. While under the umbrella of Citizen Corps, the CERT program's strength grew across the country. 

The reality is that professional emergency responders can not  be  everywhere   at    once in a disaster. People need to know how to help themselves. If there is a natural or man-made event that overwhelms or delays the community’s professional emergency responders, CERT members have the basic skills to help themselves and those around them. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can save lives, protect property, and prevent themselves from becoming victims.                                                                                                                                                                                           

During a large-scale disaster, the response of any community’s emergency services may be delayed or overwhelmed for a variety of reasons. This leaves the citizens of the community - family, neighbors, and co-workers - to provide for their own well-being and safety until professional responders arrive. This very reality is the cornerstone of the Suffolk County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. 

The goal of the CERT program is to provide the private citizens who complete the course with the basic skills that they will need to respond to their community’s immediate needs in the aftermath of a disaster, when emergency services are not immediately available. By working together, CERTs can assist in saving lives and protecting property using the basic techniques in this course. 

The CERT program is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. The program provides a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference. CERT is a community based volunteer effort and is a component of the Suffolk County Citizen Corps Council’s program. 

The CERT program strives to present citizens with the facts about what to expect following a major disaster in their community and to deliver the message about their responsibility for mitigation and preparedness. Through didactic and hands-on sessions they receive training in needed life saving skills with emphasis on decision making, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. Lastly, local CERT program managers will likely organize teams so that they are an extension of first responder services offering immediate help to victims until professional services arrive. 

Join the Suffolk County Community Emergency Response Team

Learn about the training CERT volunteers receive:   

Learn more about Emergency Preparedness: Visit the Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management