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Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Learn to better prepare for hazards and protect yourself, loved ones, neighbors and community by joining a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program. CERT volunteers receive free training and develop skills to assist before, during and after a disaster occurs.
CERT personnel can “bridge the gap" until professional responders are able to arrive on the scene of an emergency. CERT volunteers may help with disaster preparedness, special events, and other activities, too.
Join an existing CERT Program
Start a CERT Program:
The first step is to determine a host for the program. Examples include:
- Campus CERT: post-secondary schools 2-year, 4-year, tribal college, or accredited program (such as cosmetology certification)
- Community CERT: civic service clubs, social groups, faith-based, neighborhood block clubs, veteran groups, etc.
- Teen CERT: hosted by a public, private, public charter, or tribal school. Youth groups are eligible, such as boys & girls club, scout, 4-H, etc.
- Workplace CERT: hosted by a workplace (for-profit, non-profit, government, etc.)
After a host is established, contact HSEM Volunteer Resources
for more details.
As a Fire Corps volunteer, you can expect to assist your local fire department in a non-emergency role. The activities you participate in will provide critical support to the department and enable emergency responders to focus on operational duties and training.
Specific activities vary depending on the department, but the list below should give you an idea of the types of opportunities that may be available:
- Teaching fire safety to children.
- Conducting home safety checks.
- Installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguishers in area homes.
- Maintaining the department's website.
- Managing the department's social media.
- Distributing preparedness materials to residents in your community.
- Providing hydration and refreshments to first responders during long incidents.
- Wildfire mitigation.
- Grant writing.
Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)
Minnesota Responds Medical Reserve Corps (MN Responds MRC) is part of a nationwide initiative to pre-register, manage and mobilize volunteers to help their communities respond to all types of disasters. The Minnesota Department of Health provides the framework for coordinating multiple local, regional and state based programs of volunteers who have medical, public health or other needed skills.
The structure of each MN Responds MRC unit varies, depending on its own unique requirements and on the needs of the people and community that it serves. Volunteers donate their time and expertise in the area where they live, making it easier for them to help their own family, neighborhood, and community.
Minnesota is looking for anyone willing to volunteer their skills in the event of a health emergency. Individual roles include:
- Healthcare professionals, such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, psychiatrists, veterinarians, etc.
- Public health professionals
- Behavioral health and social service professionals including psychologists, social workers, counselors, interpreters and chaplains
- Support staff such as clerical workers, data entry, greeters, traffic control, canteen workers, etc.
- Volunteers may be practicing, retired or college students
The University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Veterinary Association also run statewide programs with a similar focus, but there are certain requirements for participation. Persons registering in the MN Responds MRC are asked specific questions to determine eligibility in these programs.
Start the process by registering with MN Responds MRC. Program administrators for your area will contact you about their expectations for participation. You are never required to volunteer unless you are available and comfortable with responding.