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Madison County, Alabama
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)


CERT News!


The Madison County CERT Association is now coordinating the scheduling of CERT classes for Emergency Management. Please visit the Madison County CERT Association website for class information.

The Madison County CERT Association is the member ran organization that provides an interface between Emergency Management and the individual CERT teams. The website is maintained by volunteers in the CERT program. The Madison County CERT Association also assists Emergency Management by coordinating CERT training classes in the county. If you are interested in taking a CERT class, please visit their website for more information.


Status Board for CERT in Madison County:

Updated: May 8, 2017
• CERT classes: 59
• CERT graduates: 1002


What is CERT Anyway????

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies happen, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community.

The CERT course is taught in Madison County by instructors who have completed a CERT Train-the-Trainer course and have a background in emergency response. Instructors are from emergency response agencies such as: HEMSI (ambulance service), Huntsville Fire & Rescue, Huntsville-Madison County Rescue Squad, Madison Fire & Rescue, Emergency Management, as well as individuals that have been in the CERT program for some time and volunteer as an instructor through the Madison County CERT Association.CERT training includes disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, and light search and rescue operations.

Target groups to receive CERT training include: Community Watch, emergency communications & transportation groups, local businesses, church groups, and any other community-based group that can respond as a localized team in their area during times of disaster.


Madison County's first CERT class graduated on November 20, 2003.

The pilot class included the Crestwood Community Watch group, EMA's Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service Unit (RACES) members, and members of the Rocket City Rockcrawlers - a local 4 wheel drive club.




CERT Training (click each image for larger view)

Unit 1: Disaster Preparedness This is a presentation on hazards that face Madison County and steps that individuals can take to mitigate those hazards as well as having a disaster supply kit and disaster plan.

Unit 2: Fire Safety Students learn about fires, fire safety, and hazardous materials. Students then use a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire. Students are required to wear appropriate clothing and shoes on this night. Leather palmed work gloves and safety goggles are also required.


Unit 3: Disaster Medical Operations I Students learn about treating life threatening conditions, START triage system, and watch a video about START triage.


Unit 4: Disaster Medical Operations II Students learn about public health considerations, establishing treatment areas, head to toe assessments (including performing an actual assessment), and basic first aid procedures (including splinting/bandaging).


Unit 5: Light Search and Rescue Students learn about conducting a sizeup of the disaster scene, degrees of damage, basic search principles and techniques, and rescue operations. Use of cribbing material and prybar to lift heavy objects as well as methods of lifting and carrying victims will be covered.


Units 6&7: CERT Organization & Disaster Psychology Students learn about the incident command system (ICS), how to use ICS to organize themselves as a team, making decisions on a disaster scene, and how they fit in the ICS used by local responders. Students then are given a 30 minute presentation on team well being, survivor trauma, and interaction with the family of a deceased victim.


Unit 8: Terrorism Awareness Students learn about terrorist targets, weapons, indicators of a terrorism event, being prepared, as well as what CERTs should do in the aftermath of a terrorist incident.


Unit 9: Simulated Disaster Exercise A simulated disaster scenario, normally with "victims" is presented to the class. The students have the responsibility of organizing themselves and effectively take action to respond to and operate in the incident. After the exercise is complete, a short debriefing is held and graduation certificates are presented to those students that completed all portions of the course.




Links to CERT group sites (not maintained by EMA)


The Huntsville Community Watch Association is very supportive of CERT. Several neighborhoods have watch members who are CERT trained as well as Commmunity Watch Association Board members.


The Rocket City Rockcrawlers is a Huntsville based four wheel drive club. Several Rockcrawlers members have been trained in CERT and have the ability to provide transportation assets in remote areas. The RCRC is also a member of the Madison County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD)




Other Citizen Corps Volunteer Activities:

Some activities associated with Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) have been in place in Madison County for years. The Madison County Sheriff's Department has a volunteer Reserve Deputy program for adults and a Deputy Cadet Corps for those ages 16-20. Huntsville Police also has a youth program, the Ranger Corps. Seniors can also check with your local department to see if opportunities exist to volunteer.

Madison County is also fortunate enough to have community watch groups in place for a number of years now. The cities of Huntsville and Madison both have neighborhood watch organizations, as well as rural Madison County. To learn more about these groups, contact your local police department's community relations office or the Madison County Sheriff's Department.


Madison County Citizen Corps Council:

Madison County, including all municipalities within the county, are fortunate enough to have a strong community safety oriented committee already in place. The Madison County Emergency Planning Committee (MCEPC) brings together response agencies, government agencies, volunteer groups, and faith-based services in our county. Since all the key components of a Citizen Corps council are represented, the MCEPC was a logical choice to spearhead the local effort.

Through resolutions from local governments, the Chairman of the Madison County Emergency Planning Committee has the authority to appoint a subcommittee to serve as the Citizens Corps Council for all of Madison County.

Such a committee has been authorized by the MCEPC Chairman. Scott Worsham, an Emergency Management Officer with the Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Management Agency, was selected to chair the Citizen Corps subcommittee of the MCEPC. As such, his role is to serve as a point of contact, organizing membership on the Council, and coordination. Scott can be reached at (256)427-5130 for further information.