Arlington Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

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Applications for our in-person Fall 2024 CERT Basic Training (Class 76) are open until Wednesday, July 31 at 11:59 pm.


Arlington Community Emergency Response Team (Arlington CERT) is a diverse, trained volunteer group composed of 300+ Arlington community members. 

Created in the wake of 9/11 in 2002 by concerned residents wanting to assist in their communities during emergencies, more than 1,000 community members have gone through the training to become Arlington CERT volunteers.

Arlington CERT volunteers make a difference in their community and neighborhoods by working with the Arlington County government in building a more resilient community through preparedness and response activities.  

Get prepared and make an impact in your neighborhood by joining Arlington CERT! 

How To Join

STEP 1: Check that you meet the following prerequisites

You must live, work, go to school, go to church, or plan to volunteer extensively in Arlington County.

You must be 14 or older.

Teenagers between the ages 14 and 17 may attend if accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or an adult designated in writing as the responsible party.

You must be able to pass a national and state sex offender check.

The training to become a CERT volunteer normally requires some lifting, carrying, and working on the floor or ground.

However, CERT is about using each person's abilities. Let us know in your application if you have differing abilities. Differing abilities are absolutely not disqualifying for CERT training.

You will have to purchase supplies and tools amounting between $40-70 which are necessary both for the training to become a CERT volunteer and to ensure you are equipped and ready for an activation once you complete the steps to join Arlington CERT.

If that cost is a concern to you, it does not disqualify you from training. Please just let us know in person at class, and we will make alternate arrangements.

STEP 2: Apply for CERT Basic Training (FREE)

CBT is a free, in-person, 8-class training course held over 4 weeks which takes about 30 hours to complete. CBT is held twice a year in the spring and fall, and classes typically are held on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings.

Classes are taught by local emergency response/management personnel and volunteers and include lecture, discussion, and hands-on learning.

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Take steps to prepare yourself, your family, and your community for a disaster;
  • Identify threats and hazards unique to our community and how to prepare for them;
  • Describe the function and organization of a CERT program and the role CERTs play at all stages of the emergency management cycle;
  • Recognize life-threatening conditions and apply appropriate life-saving techniques, employ basic treatment for injuries, and understand disaster medical operations;
  • Describe the post-disaster emotional environment and steps that you can take to relieve your own stressors and those of disaster survivors;
  • Identify and reduce potential fire hazards in your home, workplace, and neighborhoods and perform basic fire suppression; and
  • Describe the most common techniques associated with light search and rescue operations.

The eighth and final class includes a practical exam comprised of disaster simulations to give trainees the ability to apply their newly acquired skills in a semi-realistic environment.


Applications for CERT Basic Training Fall 2024 (Class 76) are open until Wednesday, July 31 at 11:59 pm. See the schedule below for training-specific dates and times.


We recognize that it can be difficult for most Arlingtonians to be able to attend all eight classes in a single course. We recommend attending when you can, and then doing makeups either with the next seasonal class, or when we offer occasional makeups.

However, if you think you will miss more than four of the eight classes, we recommend applying for a future course where you can make at least four classes.

CBT Fall 2024 (Class 76) Schedule

Date  Time Unit
Tues., Sept. 10  7- 10 pm Course Overview and Individual Resilience (1.1, 1.2)
Sat., Sept. 14 9 am- 1 pm Emergency Management Cycle, Terrorism (1.3, 1.4)
Tues., Sept. 17 7- 10 pm ICS, Size Up, Set Up (2.1, 2.2, 2.3)
Sat., Sept. 21 9 am- 1 pm Radio and Fire Control (2.4, 2.5)
Tues., Sept. 24 7- 10 pm Search Operations, Four Preventable Causes of Death (3.1, 3.2)
Sat., Sept. 28 9 am- 2 pm Triage, Rescue Operations, Psych First Aid (3.3, 3.4, 3.5)
Tues., Oct. 1 7- 10 pm Scene Handoff, Course Review (4.1, 4.2)
 Sat., Oct. 5 9 am - 2 pm Final Exercise

STEP 3: Complete FEMA Online Courses 100 and 700 (FREE)

Arlington CERT is a local program based on the national FEMA Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.

We ask that you complete these short and free online courses to better understand the importance of the Incident Command and National Incident Management System, which are frameworks emergency managers and first responders use to respond to emergencies.

IS-100.C: Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS 100

IS-700.B: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System

What Happens After You Join

Upon completion of previous steps, you will become an Arlington CERT volunteer and will receive a CERT ID badge, safety vest, and t-shirt.

You will be subscribed to our bimonthly newsletter with training opportunities so you can continue to hone your skills as well as volunteering opportunities to support your community and first responders.

Read more to learn about the many activities available to Arlington CERT volunteers.

If major local emergency happens and Arlington CERT is called to help, we will alert you by phone and email, so make sure to update your contact records whenever they change. 

Contact Us

Reach out with any questions by emailing the coordinator at

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