Graduates of “CERT 27” in the spring of 2019. Photo courtesy city of Kirkland

Graduates of “CERT 27” in the spring of 2019. Photo courtesy city of Kirkland

Fall CERT training starting Sept. 17 in Kirkland

The trainings have been seasonally offered by the city since 2005.

The latest batch of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training classes will be starting in Kirkland on Sept. 17.

The trainings, which happen seasonally, have been offered by the city since 2005, in a host of formats and incarnations. The classes are spread out over a month-long period, ultimately culminating to make it a 24-hour training opportunity.

CERT training uses a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-based curriculum. Through its courses, members of the community learn how to assist themselves and others when, during an emergency, relevant emergency personnel aren’t able to adequately respond. Because 25 firefighters are typically on duty on an average day, for example, there’s a high chance they would be overtaxed if a disaster were to occur in Kirkland.

The upcoming period — referred to as CERT 28 — lasts from the September date to Oct. 29. Spring sessions are already planned for early 2020. Refresher courses are also available.

“The city continues to offer these classes because the demand from the community is there,” Kirkland emergency manager Heather Kelly said in an email. “We are actively looking at ways to increase the number of offerings.”

According to Kelly, a catalyst to make CERT training a priority in the community came after the 2001 Nisqually earthquake. Because of its scope, it prompted local emergency managers to rethink how they might prepare residents for other natural disasters, like “the big one,” the massive earthquake that is slated to someday devastate the west coast.

Kelly said that, at the time, CERT training was a fairly new program in the Pacific Northwest. But the city of Kirkland took a chance.

“Kirkland saw the value of engaging the public and committed to offering training,” she said.

The classes that comprise CERT training are varied and frequently hands on. Throughout the seven classes, subjects covered include teamwork, disaster medical care, personal preparedness, caring for survivors and recognizing hazards.

The last part of fall training, set for Nov. 2, is a drill that simulates how an actual disaster situation might look in the real world, allowing participants to put what they’ve learned into motion. For the procedure, parts of Kirkland City Hall are turned into post-earthquake disaster sites.

“The drill is designed to offer the participants a small taste of what a disaster situation will be like, so they know they can handle it,” Kelly said, adding, “It’s the concept of learn, do, repeat and repeat again. It’s the ‘final exam’ but participation is all that’s needed to pass.”

Kelly saidparticipants have been consistently enthusiastic throughout the years since CERT training first came to the city 14 years ago.

“The community has embraced the ability to be part of the solution from the beginning,” she said, adding that, typically, the more hands-on portions of the classes are usually most “exciting” to residents.

The training, according to Kelly, is beneficial both to the participants and people in the larger community. By going through CERT training, Kelly said, residents will fill a necessary role to help others and save lives. She also said that what people learn during the classes can be applied in other ways.

“Participants describe training as fun, eye-opening, a little scary at times,” she said, adding that many invaluable skills are gained from the courses. “Although the content is intended to be used in disasters, there are many training topics that assist people every day.”

To register for fall 2019 CERT training, go to the city’s website.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Downtown Kirkland. Staff photo/Blake Peterson
Update: Kirkland officials strongly encouraging residents to stay out of downtown area, waterfront parks after 1 p.m.

The recommendations are in response to a potential protest in Downtown Kirkland at 2 p.m.

Businesses asked to close by 1 p.m., visitors to avoid commercial shopping areas

The City of Kirkland states it has received reports of being a possible target for looting

Downtown Kirkland. Blake Peterson/staff photo
How is COVID-19 impacting Kirkland?

King County has released city-specific data on case rates, unemployment filings and more.

Kabal Gill, owner of East India Grill in Federal Way, wears gloves to hand over take-out orders at his restaurant on March 23. File photo
New guidelines for Phase 2 reopenings in King County

All workers will need to wear masks as restaurants, retail shops and other businesses reopen.

This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC’s laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. Courtesy photo
Inslee wants nursing home residents and staff tested by June 12

Governor says state will pay for test kits and personal protective equipment.

Stock image
Campgrounds to reopen in 22 Washington counties

Campgrounds in counties actively in Phase 2 of the reopening plan will begin to welcome visitors June 1, state says.

King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht. FILE PHOTO
King County sheriff releases message about Minneapolis Police officer

Mitzi Johanknecht calls video of officer kneeling on neck of George Floyd ‘heartbreaking and disturbing’

File photo of construction near North Bend on Aug. 16. Sound Publishing file photo
                                File photo of construction near North Bend on Aug. 16. Sound Publishing file photo
Rural King County mayors want state to let them enter Phase 2

Mayors cite heavy economic damage from prolonged shutdown.

New dashboard shows how far along King County is to meeting Phase II metrics

The county has met more than half its goals, but the ones it hasn’t met are critical in determining how many people are still being infected, and how quickly people are being tested.

Most Read