City of Poway


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.

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. Today, the CERT Program follows a curriculum developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and is a partner of the Citizens Corps Program. The City of Poway delivers thCERT Picturee CERT Program via separate components:

  • CERT Training
  • Poway CERT Membership

CERT Training

The City of Poway, in partnership with Palomar College, offers CERT classes annually. Two-to-three-hour classes are conducted on ten consecutive Saturdays. 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. A certificate of completion in this noncredit Palomar College course is provided.

Participants who complete this course, or an equivalent CERT course, are eligible to apply for membership in Poway's CERT. The next CERT Academy has been scheduled to begin on Saturday, January 25, 2014, for ten successive Saturdays through March 29.  If you are interested in signing up for the academy, print and complete the 2014 CERT Application and return it to Michelle Clark by email (, by mail to the Poway Fire Department (P. O. Box 789, Poway, CA 92074-0789), or in person to the Poway Fire Department Administrative Offices (13050 Community Road, 2nd floor, Poway, CA 92064). Class size is limited, so sign up now!

If you have any questions, please call Michelle Clark at (858) 668-4460 or by email at

Poway 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.

Poway CERT members assist with CERT Training and network with other volunteers to strengthen the idea that trained citizens can help save lives. Poway CERT organizes volunteers into groups of responders during a large incident or disaster. During an event, Poway CERT members may be called upon to perform a variety of response roles including support of the City’s Emergency Operations Center, staff a care and shelter facility, perform community reconnaissance, or conduct damage assessment.

Members of Poway CERT must be at least 18 years old and reside in the City of Poway. For more information, please contact Michelle Clark at (858) 668-4466 or by email at

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



Current Poway CERT members should study the attached documents in case of a missed class or just for review



Last updated: 12/5/2013 4:34:48 PM