Arlington CERT Activities

Prepare and Train for Local Emergencies

CERT volunteers prepare to support first responders and their community at major local emergencies through the following activities.

  • Honing their training by attending refresher trainings and advanced trainings
  • Participating in emergency communication drills

Build Community Resilience Through Outreach

CERT volunteers build community throughout Arlington through the following outreach activities.

  • Teaching hands-on lifesaving skills through the Until Help Arrives course
  • Presenting about emergency preparedness through the First 15 course
  • Tabling at local events and fairs, such as the Arlington County Fair

Lead and Support Arlington CERT as an Organization

Arlington CERT is co-managed by staff from DPSCEM and Arlington CERT volunteers. Volunteers lead and support initiatives, such as:

  • Planning and teaching CERT Basic and advanced trainings
  • Developing emergency drills and plans
  • Developing outreach plans to build community trust
  • Leading our 9 Neighborhood CERT groups
  • Representing Arlington CERT at regional meetings
  • Maintaining volunteer records
  • …and more!

Support First Responder Preparedness

CERT volunteers participate in local/regional disaster exercises for Arlington’s first responders as victim role players to simulate more realistic emergency environments.

Some CERT volunteers have also participated at exercises applying moulage (art of applying fake wounds) to victim role players in order to make exercises even more realistic.

Standby for Large Events + Respond to Local Emergencies

CERT volunteers provide standby support for reoccurring local, major events requiring increased public safety and emergency management coordination, including:

  • Marine Corps Marathon
  • July 4th celebrations
  • Presidential Inaugurations

Upon request from first responders and emergency managers, Arlington CERT volunteers can be activated to support emergency response efforts. Below is a timeline of previous activations.

  • Established HAM radio communications during Emergency Communications Center outage during Derecho storm (2012)
  • Provided ice to residents during summer power outages (2019)
  • Managed traffic at COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites (2020-2022)
  • Cleared snow off fire hydrants (2022)
  • Set up food and water stations for first responders (2023)