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Fire-Rescue Department

CERT San Diego

Firefighters and Citizens Working Together to Build Safer Communities

During the first few hours and days after a disaster strikes, emergency services could be overwhelmed, leaving families, neighborhoods and businesses on their own for hours or days.

After the devastating Cedar fire of October 2003, the City of San Diego sought new solutions to meet this vital need. A new community based program called Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was developed by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. CERT San Diego helped citizens become a part of the solution in their own communities. The program took advantage of the outpouring of volunteers who offered to help in disasters, such as the Cedar Fire, earthquakes and 9/11.

Photo of CERT Members at Drill

San Diego Fire-Rescue personnel train and empower citizens in safe, effective neighborhood CERT teams. CERT San Diego instructors teach citizens to take life-saving action to help families, neighbors, businesses and communities get through the first few hours or days when emergency services are overwhelmed.

How to Join CERT San Diego

To join the City of San Diego’s CERT team, you must live within the city limits of San Diego (this does not include Chula Vista, Del Mar, Poway, or Imperial Beach, for instance). Next, get signed up to attend one of our CERT SD Academies. To do this, visit the SD Volunteer, Internship and Work Readiness Opportunities page and click “Log in to your account” if you already have a profile, or click "Fill in an application."