Arlington CERT 2014 1

Participants in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program learned how to effectively put out small fires during training Oct. 25, 2014. (CERT photo)

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department will offer two free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes that will educate residents about disaster preparedness.

Both upcoming classes will be taught on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy, 4600 West Ox Road in Fairfax.

• CERT Class 149 will be held Aug. 28 and Sept. 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23 and 25.

• CERT Class 153 will  be held Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21 and 23.

CERT trains county residents 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.

The CERT training classes will follow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) curriculum, tailored to local disasters and hazards. The classes will emphasize hands-on skill development and Fairfax County protocols and procedures. Training does not require any special physical strength or agility.

For more information and to register for the classes, contact volunteer liaison Jeffrey Katz via e-mail at fire.cert@fairfaxcounty.gov or call (703) 246-3926.

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