Community Emergency Response Team

Preparing to Respond

The CERT Program, which is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Citizen Corp Program, helps train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. The program is explained in depth in our program brochure.

Supporting First Responders & Others

When emergencies occur, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community.

The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985. FEMA made this training available nationally in 1993. Since this time, CERT programs have been established in more than 340 communities in 45 states.

Brookline CERT Training

CERT Training Program Includes: CPR/AED and first aid, basic fire suppression, personal emergency preparedness, mass care, shelter operations, directing traffic and search and rescue. Please be advised that some parts of the training may be physically demanding (i.e., holding and operating a fire extinguisher). Attendance at a minimum of 8 classes is mandatory for certification. In addition to the 10-week certification program, regular continuing education courses are offered throughout the year in partnership with the Brookline Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) on a variety of topics such as, amateur radio operations, NIMS/ICS, operating flu clinics, stress during emergencies and dealing with animals in emergencies, as well as, field trips, drills and meetings. Currently, there are over 265 certified CERT members and we hope to continue to add additional members through this training.

Brookline CERT in Action

The skills developed in this training will enable CERT participants to assist the Town's emergency workers during a major event. These events could include an attack on our nation, a natural or man-made disaster, extended electrical outages, missing person searches, weather-related crises, or any number of situations that we are hopeful will never face our community. Areas in which volunteers would likely be used include assisting at shelters and emergency dispensing sites, assisting with an evacuation and manning information booths or telephones during a crisis. Some examples of activations for the CERT team have included: managing a shelter for hundreds of stranded runners following the Boston Marathon bombing, leafleting during the water crisis, opening shelters and assisting victims of building fires, helping families throughout Massachusetts following recent hurricanes and blizzards, and assisting at community events.

Brookline CERT COVID-19 Response

During COVID, our CERT volunteers have augmented Town and community resources by providing support to the Food Pantry, the town elections, the Farmer’s Markets, BHS Graduations and other events/activities. They assisted with distributing COVID tests, leafletting of information on mask mandate, staffing the call center, providing support to vaccination and testing clinics and many other activities.

BPD JrCert Program

JrCert members will participate in a five-session training where they will learn various skills needed to assist the Town's emergency responders in a time of need and ways to support many Town events, programs and activities, as well as to develop leadership, personal preparedness and life-saving skills. These youth will become part of the BPD's official CERT program.

Complete this form to register for the 2023 JrCert Program!

Upcoming Trainings/How to Participate

Please contact Sergeant Casey Hatchett at 617-730-2256 or for information regarding upcoming trainings, the application process or to request additional information and/or an application.


Sample Training Schedule

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CERT pic