Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic Training

Register now for Fall CERT

Start online coursework now OR come to in-person classes in November

CERT Basic Training is a free comprehensive 20 hour training course combining classroom and hands-on instruction to teach basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, earthquake survival skills, light search and rescue, team organization, radio communication, and disaster medical operations. Upon completion, members will be able to assist their community or workplace following an emergency event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

Students may complete the classroom portion of the training either in-person or online at their own pace.

Two teaching formats to suit your learning style

A sizable portion (about 12 hours) of CERT basic training consists of classroom instruction, teaching you how to prepare for and respond to hazards that may impact the Coastside. Students may choose to complete this portion through self-guided online learning modules, or by attending a series of in-person classes at Coastside Fire Station 40 in Half Moon Bay.

Regardless of which option they choose for the classroom portion, all students will complete the final day of practical, hands-on training led by Division Chief David Cosgrave at Fire Station 40.

Online, at your own pace

Coursework can be completed on mobile or desktop devices at your own pace. Progress is saved and can be resumed later. All 10 online modules must be completed by October 16, 2022. This allows the class administrators to know how many in-person class spaces are available and to prepare a personalized training experience for every student attending Training Day & Graduation.

After registering for training, follow these instructions to register and complete the online course,

In-person at Coastside Fire Station 40

Training will be conducted during evenings and weekends (see exact dates below) at Coastside Fire Station 40, 1191 Main St, Half Moon Bay.

Space is limited, so please ensure that you will be able to attend ALL 4 in-person classes before signing up.

Learning from the best

Approximately one week before the in-person training day, Division Chief Cosgrave will hold a Zoom Q&A and Instruction session with all registered online students who have completed the training modules to provide localized Coastside knowledge to your CERT training and answer any questions you may have. See the recording from a previous session.

With a genuine passion for teaching, Chief Cosgrave weaves his three decades of Coastside first responder experiences in and out of FEMA's basic training curriculum with threads of practical life-saving skills, relatable stories to boost your Coastside survival IQ, and a wicked sense of humor. He knows where all the bodies are buried, so to speak (though he says he won't tell ;) and shares his amazing experiences to teach you, your family, and your neighbors how to stay safe.

Putting it all into practice

Training culminates in a full-day, hands-on training session (and graduation!) at Coastside Fire Station 40 (1191 Main St, Half Moon Bay) led by local first responders and CERT instructors. The emphasis is on learning by doing: Instructors demonstrate and students practice the skills based on the CERT curriculum checklist, progressing from one skill station to another followed by team participation in disaster simulations.

In compliance with public health guidelines, masks are optional. Social distancing, hand-washing, and sanitizing are encouraged. Students must attend the full day in order to receive a final certificate of course completion. You will be a full-fledged CERT graduate by end of this session.

Students must be 18 years old to participate. Students aged 16-17 years may be able to join by special arrangement.

Upcoming In-Person Training Sessions

November 2022

In-Person Classroom Instruction:

  • Wednesday, November 2, 6:30 - 9:00 pm

  • Sunday, November 6, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

  • Wednesday, November 9, 6:30 - 9:00 pm

Spring Training Day & Graduation (All Students)

  • Sunday, November 13, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

March 2023

In-Person Classroom Instruction:

  • Wednesday, March 1, 6:30 - 9:00 pm

  • Sunday, March 5, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Wednesday, March 8, 6:30 - 9:00 pm

Spring Training Day & Graduation (All Students)

  • Sunday, March 12, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

November 2023 (Dates Tentative)

In-Person Classroom Instruction:

  • Wednesday, November 1, 6:30 - 9:00 pm

  • Saturday, November 4, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Wednesday, November 8, 6:30 - 9:00 pm

Fall Training Day & Graduation (All Students)

  • Saturday, November 11, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm