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Applications being accepted for the Spring 2020 Classes.

6:00-9:00 PM each Wednesday starting on:

April 2020

Thousand Oaks CERT classes are free and held at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza (City Hall) at 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd in the Oak RoomClasses are scheduled 6:00-9:00 p.m. on six consecutive Wednesdays. No prior experience is needed and the classes are open to Ventura County residents 18 years and older. To enroll in a class, please complete an application and email it to: CERTinfo@toaks.org

Certainly Cert 09 123What is CERT?

Local government prepares for everyday emergencies. However, during a large disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency services. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is designed to educate Thousand Oaks residents and businesses about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and instructs them in basic disaster response skills. Using the skills learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can give critical support to their families, neighbors, and community immediately following a disaster when residents may initially be on their own and emergency services may not be available to help.

The training covers basic life saving skills that are important to know in a disaster situation and provides valuable support to the City, neighborhoods, and emergency response personnel. Click here for training highlights.

Why was the CERT Program developed?

The CERT training program was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and modeled after the original 1985 program used by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department. The purpose of the CERT IMG_2326program is to create a well-trained citizen emergency work force which is vital in the immediate aftermath of disaster situations when the number and scope of incidents overwhelm conventional emergency services.

Why do the CERT Training?

CERT members are primarily used in their own neighborhoods. CERT training means you are as ready as you can be to help yourself, your family, and your neighborhood, and serves as the basic level of training for all community-based disaster volunteer teams in Ventura County. In a disaster, normal activities will be disrupted, police, fire, 9-1-1, and ambulances will be quickly overwhelmed, and may not be able to respond for 72 hours. Residents need to be able to take care of themselves until the professional emergency responders arrive. One goal of the CERT program is to help residents respond to and assist others in need and do so effectively without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.

What type of training do CERT members receive?

All classes are taught by trained emergency personnel, including firefighters with expertise in disaster management.    Information about the Ventura County CERT program can be found at this website: http://vcfd.org/CERT.

Over the course of six weeks CERT members receive training in:

  • disaster fire suppression techniques and extinguishers
  • basic first aid and triage (bleeding, shock, airway obstruction)
  • light search and rescue operations
  • utility control (how and when to shut them off)
  • damage assessment
  • recognize potential hazards (i.e. hazardous materials)
  • disaster psychology
  • organizing and managing a neighborhood team


Do I have to be a Thousand Oaks resident to register for the CERT Program?

Although preference goes to Thousand Oaks residents, if you are a resident of Ventura County, you are qualified to attend classes for this program as well as in other communities.

What if I can't make all the classes?

 You can make up classes you miss in a later session or with another City. For a calendar of classes in Ventura County click here or call (805) 583-6116.   It is best to contact the other city first to find out which module they will cover for the date you wish to attend.  A make-up form must be completed and signed by the instructor of the attending city and turned in to CERTInfo@toaks.org.  Click on this link for Ventura county cities that offer CERT classes. Class schedule for Thousand Oaks can be found at this link.

When do I receive my certificate of completion.

On the day of the final you will be presented with your Certificate only after you have completed all 6 courses and the final.   

What happens after completion of the CERT course?

Completing the CERT program will provide you with situational awareness on what to do during an emergency to help your family and neighbors.   To keep your skills up to date check with the Ventura County Fire Department for refresher courses that may be offered or visit the FEMA training online CERT Course.

Where do I get information about the City's Disaster Assistance Response Program (DART)?

The City's DART Program is managed by the Thousand Oaks Police Department and to become a member of DART, you must be a graduate of CERT. To learn more, please click here.