The first question I hear when I talk about an Accelerated CERT training class is, “What’s THAT?!?!”
Through my years of teaching the basic 20-hour CERT training classes in numerous counties, the primary complaint from the volunteers is ALWAYS, “WHY is this class stretched out over so MANY weeks?”
Here is some perspective:
A standard CERT Basic 20-hour training class takes place two to three hours a day, twice a week for about four weeks with a final full class devoted to the final disaster scenario. The final disaster scenario gives the new class a chance to try out and practice all of the things they have learned during the course of the training.
With the creation of the Accelerated class, we had a few challenges to overcome. Time, scheduling, location, etc. It is sometimes difficult to secure a professional who will come in to teach with the Certified CERT trainer on one night, let alone line up 6-8 professionals to do what we wanted to offer, which was two twelve-hour days.
The Benton County EMA and CERT pushed through the challenges and beta tested the Accelerated class and it was WILDLY successful. People want to get training quickly so they can start working with the team and learning the ropes in a hands-on way, especially if they have some background experience.
The caveat to the venture was that if people wanted to take the Accelerated CERT training, they needed to accomplish some things on their own or have a specific background.
Now that we are offering the Accelerated training here in Camden County, the same rules/guidelines apply. See Below.
First, they must be familiar with emergency service, whether they are current, retired, or ex-military, first responders, nurses/doctors, have or still serve with another volunteer emergency organization like the American Red Cross, ARES, faith-based organizations, etc.
Next, they must complete six FEMA Independent Study Courses and provide certificates for each to the CERT Coordinator prior to the class. These IS courses include the 100, 200, 315, 317, 700, and 800. You can find more info and links about that here.
Then, They must pass a background check provided by the EMA via the Camden County Sheriff’s Office.
Finally, they will be asked to sign up as a Level 3 CERT member for Camden County. See the image below for information on the levels.
We are in the process of planning one of these Accelerated CERT training classes RIGHT NOW. We need at least 6 people locked in before we can green light the class. This particular class has us partnered with the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District and you can see the schedule so far below.
If you are interested in one of the 6 positions in the first Accelerated Camden County CERT Training Class, please send an email to CERT Coordinator Tim George at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at 573-480-3960. You can also email Assistant Coordinator Ranita Jones at email@example.com or call her at 618-973-1647.