Citizens wanted for


Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) 

In any kind of disaster, if you are not part of the solution, you become part of the problem. The government and first responders all warn us that in a major crisis, help may not be coming for hours, days or perhaps weeks. CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) is a nationwide program to train people like you to bridge the gap until professional help arrives.

Charleston County’s Emergency Preparedness Division is accepting applications from citizens who want to be a part of the County’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). 

CERT is a federally-funded grant program that allows Charleston County employees to train citizens how to be better prepared in the event of a disaster, and to be able to go out into their communities to help their neighbors after a disaster.

  • Each CERT course consists of three-hour classes once a week, over a period of eight weeks.
  • The classes are offered free of charge by Charleston County’s Emergency Preparedness Division.

CERT is modeled after a program created by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, and the training promotes a partnering effort between emergency services and the people they serve.

The goal of the program is to bridge the time gap between the occurrences of the disastrous event and when emergency services agencies are able to respond.

CERT is targeted toward neighborhoods, businesses, communities of faith, clubs and organizations, etc. Participants are trained in disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, team organization, disaster psychology, and basic terrorism awareness.

Applications can be submitted at any time. For more information on CERT, contact Jim Tarter by phone at (843) 202-7405 or by e-mail at To fill out an application online, visit Charleston County’s Web site at

Now accepting applications for CERT classes

Click the link below to visit the Charleston County Website to learn more about the program, and to sign up for CERT in our community.