For information on upcoming CERT Training bottom of page

The federally sponsored Community Emergency Response Team (CERTProgram educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.  

Upon completion of training, CERT graduates in San Mateo County are sworn in by the County Sheriff’s Office and in Santa Cruz County by Cal Fire as Disaster Service Workers (DSW).  This provides CERT members with Worker’s Compensation Insurance when activated to respond to an emergency.

CERT classes have been held in the South Skyline area since 2009.  In 2015, SSEPO established the first South Skyline CERT organization..  If an emergency happens in the South Skyline Area, our CERT members will be activated to respond by local fire departments and/or Cal Fire, using a specific
SMC Alert or other methods as appropriate. That notification will provide instructions on how to RSVP, and where to go and when.

How does the South Skyline CERT fit into the emergency preparedness of your neighborhood and the South Skyline Area?

In our area CERT members have three roles:

  • Use their training to keep themselves and their families safe 
  • Immediately after a major emergency, apply their skills to help their neighborhoods with welfare checks and triage
  • Participate in formal activates from the fire department.

Formal activations vary depending on the needs of the fire department. Examples from last few years:

  • Staffing DOC (Department Operations Center) at fire department during an emergency
  • Helping evacuate houses and belongings during a low landslide
  • Going door to door to warn about possible land slides
  • Helping with large animal evacuations
  • Helping with traffic control for covid tests 

Participation is always voluntary.  Always make sure you and your family are safe first. Then help your neighborhood. Then participate in activations.  The DSW insurance only applies to formal activations. However, helping your family and neighborhood are legally protected by Good Samaritan laws.  These community activities are crucial, and officially endorsed, but they are not "activations". There is no such thing as self-activation.  Activation, legally, can only happen through a formal mechanism like SMC Alert.

SSEPO will provide information about CERT Training that will be available locally.  The success of emergency preparedness in the South Skyline Area depends on our volunteers.  Please consider getting your CE​RT training.  For information about how YOU can join the South Skyline CERT, please inquire at


Upcoming CERT Classes


San Mateo County: Southcoast CERT, go to LaHondaFire                          

San Mateo County:  Coastside CERT, go to Coastside CERT Training

Santa Cruz County:  For information, go toSanta Cruz CERT Training

Santa Clara County:  For information, go to Santa Clara CERT Training