CERT Volunteers

Command Post 10/18/14Disasters create a dynamic, ever-changing environment. The CERT organizational
framework is flexible so that it can expand or contract depending on the ongoing
assessment priorities determined by the CERT Incident Commander/Team Leader (IC/TL),
and people and resources available. This expansion and contraction helps ensure:

  • Rescuer safety
  • Doing the greatest good for the greatest number
  • A manageable span of control
  • Accountability of CERT members

The Incident Command System (ICS) is the system used by emergency response
agencies to manage emergency operations. When CERTs activate, they become part
of that system.

Basic ICS structure for CERT is established by the person who arrives first on the
scene. This person becomes the Incident Commander/Team Leader (IC/TL). Initially,
the IC/TL may handle all of the command positions of ICS but, as the incident evolves,
he or she may assign personnel as needed.

Team Leads 

  1. Captain / Team Lead : This is a very important position. The Team Capt. Will serve as Incident Commander during a drill or any major actual disaster and oversee all other positions and during a major disaster will decide where to locate the Incident Command Post..The Team Captain should recruit 2 -3 people to fill in his position in his absence.  The Team Captain will be the official liaison to the Fire, Police and all other official City agencies and be responsible for forwarding all incident information to the Fire and Police Depts. As well as to the City of Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Will oversee all aspects of the Team. Should be aware of the responsibilities of all the positions under the captain’s command. Should also study and know the (ICS) Incident Command Structure, to know his / her responsibilities during a major disaster.  
  1. Operations/ Team Lead: Will recruit 2 members to assist in carrying out responsibilities and duties. This is a very important position. Without this an Incident Commander doesn’t know what is going on in their area of operation or what is happening in the field. Will create and maintain a list of CERT members and non trained volunteers arriving at Command Post to help or volunteer. During a drill or disaster. Will compile list of number of victims, injuries and structure damage Assessments reports to hand over to Incident Commander for forward to EOC and other agencies. Responsible for working with and garnering information from Communications and Medical Triage. Will know where Search & Rescue Teams are at all times and how many wounded are being treated in Triage.
  1. Communications / Team Lead: This is a very critical position in the organization. Without Communications no one knows what is going on or where any team members are. This member should recruit 2 – 5 members to assist in carrying out his duties and responsibilities. Will be responsible for researching communications gear and costs. Will give recommendations to Team Members for purchase of Radio Communications. Should have knowledge of the LA City Fire Departments ACS. Will provide initial basic radio communications training to Team Members and volunteers that will include basic radio operation and communication protocols. This individual will work with Team Members to decide which channel will be used by the entire team for communications. Will work with Communications Team to establish a COM NET for the community. Will also organize Communications Drills in coordination with other CERT Teams. During a drill or disaster incident this critical position will dispatch: under the direction of the IC and Operations the Initial Wounded Survivors and Structure Damage Assessment Team followed by the dispatching of the search & Rescue Teams. Will relay information from the Search and Rescue Teams to Medical Triage to inform them of incoming wounded.
  1. Search & Rescue / Team Lead: Critically Important position. Without an effective SAR Team people will die. This person should be in fairly good physical condition. This Team Lead will recruit as many CERT Members and non trained volunteers as necessary to carry out the functions of the SAR Team. Should be familiar with various SAR techniques, basic survivor assessment, basic first aid, stretcher loading and carrying and communications protocols. Will create a list of necessary equipment, supplies and gear specific to SAR that should be purchased for Team. 
  1. Medical Triage/ Team Lead: Extremely important part of the team. Without a effective Triage Team people will die. This individual should recruit as many CERT Members and non trained volunteers as possible. Special concentration should be given to recruiting Nursing students, LVNs, RNs, doctors, EMTs, First Aid Professionals and other volunteers with medical training or the tolerance necessary to deal with this position. This Team Lead will create a basic First Aid Supplies list that will be purchased for usage by the Team. Should have advanced First Aid Training, if possible During a drill or major disaster will keep record of those treated and their deposition or dispatch. 
  1. Care Center / Team Lead: An extremely vital part of the Team. The individual best suited for this position will most likely be a current or retired teacher, social worker, Senior Care provider or have Red Cross shelter operations experience. This Team Lead should recruit as many CERT members and community volunteers to help facilitate his duties and responsibilities. The Care Center will in-take displaced minors ,  the children of CERT and community volunteers assisting in other efforts of the team, survivors with disabilities ({AFN: Assisted Functional Needs ; individuals who require assistance but are otherwise capable.) and seniors not able to assist in rescue operations. The Care Center will also in-take Seniors who are displaced or disoriented by a major disaster until family members can be contacted. Because of the care of children and seniors great efforts should be given to keep accurate records and the dispatch of all individuals taken in for care by Care Center  to either family or agencies. 

Optional Team Members

  1. Social Media: This person will be responsible for promoting and posting all up coming classes, drills and fund raisers to social media sites. Should be fairly knowledgeable in all the most current social media local sites. Will be responsible for forwarding all announcements for events to CERT-LA Calendar, Mayor’s Office, Councilman’s Office, as well as posting to Neighborhood Council and, Chamber of Commerce and Local High School and Major Business for participation or sponsorship. 
  1. Graphics & Promotion: This person will be responsible for creating Flyers, Posters and other collateral material to promote upcoming classes, drills and fund raisers for your Team.Should have basic graphic artist skills and if possible some knowledge of photography or how to implement photographs into promo material.
  1. Procurement Officer: This person will work under the direct supervision of the Team Captain. This person will be responsible for creating uniforms, gear and equipment needed list and budget. Will write funding requests for submission to Neighborhood Council, Chamber of Commerce and oversee collection of funds at fund raising drives and events. Should have some previous experience as a Treasurer or Business Manager or Owner.