Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Following a major disaster such as an earthquake, flood, wildfire, or terrorist attack, first responders who provide fire and medical services may not be able to meet the demand for services. For many, this disruption of the emergency services that they have come to expect at a moment's notice by just dialing 911 will become a challenge. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life sustaining needs.
CERT Training

Program Overview

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, simple search and rescue, and basic first aid treatment. The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need to train civilians to meet their immediate needs. The CERT concept builds upon citizens understanding their responsibility to prepare themselves for disaster and increase their ability to safely help themselves, their family, and their neighbors.

The CERT in Poway was first organized in 2006 using a $5,000 grant from the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services and is sustained with a generous grant of $2,500 from SDG&E each year. Today, the CERT Program follows a curriculum developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and is a partner of the Citizens Corps Program.

CERT Academy

The City of Poway offers a CERT academy annually.  We are currently recruiting for our 2019 Academy. Classes are held at Fire Station #3, 14322 Pomerado Road, Poway. Dates are Saturday February 2nd, February 9th, February 16th, February 23rd and March 2nd - all sessions are from 8:00am - 3:00pm. Attendance is required at all sessions.  

Class participants receive training in basic first aid, fire safety, simple search and rescue, terrorism, emergency preparedness, and disaster psychology. At the conclusion of the classroom training, students participate in a practical exercise designed to allow them to apply the skills they learned. Classes are taught by Poway firefighters supplemented with guest speakers. Participants who complete this course, or an equivalent CERT course, are also  eligible to apply for membership in Poway's CERT.

Sign Up

If you are interested in signing up for the 2019 academy, click on this application. If you have any questions, please contact Susy Turnbull - You DO NOT need to be a resident of Poway to attend training. Minimum age is 18 years old. 

CERT Membership

Graduates of CERT training may wish to become a member of the Poway CERT and participate in refresher training, regional drills, and community outreach programs. Members are required to attend two (2) trainings or community events each calendar year.

Members of Poway CERT must be at least 18 years old and reside in the City of Poway or live in communities directly adjacent to the City of Poway. For more information, please contact Susy Turnbull at 858-668-4474 by email to

Additional Resources

For more information on Community Emergency Response Team programs, please visit: