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Fire Department

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)


Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Cape Coral CERT Program was created to help citizens become more informed and better prepared to cope with a major disaster. The Team works to educate individuals about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

Using lessons learned from the classroom and during exercises, CERT volunteers can assist others in their community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT volunteers are also encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking an active role in emergency preparedness projects.

The CERT curriculum includes lectures, visuals, and hands-on training. The program is free for Cape Coral residents and all trainings and materials are provided at no charge. Classes are spread over an eight-week period, one night per week, with an optional CPR class in the ninth week. The curriculum is as follows:

  • Unit 1: Disaster Preparedness: Identifying local disaster threats, disaster impact, mitigation and preparedness concepts, and an overview of Citizen Corps and CERT.
  • Unit 2: Fire Safety: Learn about fire chemistry, mitigation practices, hazardous materials identification, suppression options, and are introduced to the concept of size-up. Hands-on skills include using a fire extinguisher to suppress a live flame.
  • Unit 3: Disaster Medical Operations part 1: Learn to identify and treat certain life-threatening conditions in a disaster setting, as well as START triage.
  • Unit 4: Disaster Medical Operations part 2: Topics cover mass casualty operations, public health, assessing patients, and treating injuries. Students practice patient assessment, and various treatment techniques.
  • Unit 5: Light Search and Rescue Operations: Learn about assessing structural damage, marking structures that have been searched, search techniques, as well as rescue techniques and cribbing.
  • Unit 6: CERT Organization: Students are introduced to several concepts from the Incident Command System, and local team organization and communication is explained.
  • Unit 7: Disaster Psychology: Responder well-being and dealing with victim trauma are the topics of this unit.
  • Unit 8: Terrorism and CERT: Learn how terrorists may choose targets, what weapons they may use, and identifying when chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive weapons may have been deployed.
If you are willing to help your neighbors and play a role in ensure the provision emergency services, then invest some of your time and energy into becoming a member of the Community Emergency Response Team. For more information contact Riley Tuff at (239) 242-3608 or

CER with FF
CERT with truck