The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it. This individual will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Additionally, if a community wants to supplement its response capability after a disaster, civilians can be recruited and trained as neighborhood, business and government teams that, in essence, will be auxiliary responders. These groups can provide immediate assistance to victims in their area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not had the training and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional responders with prioritization and allocation of resources following a disaster. Since 1993 when this training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training.

To learn more about the National CERT program, please click here.

The training program that LAFD initiated makes good sense and furthers the process of citizens understanding their responsibility in preparing for disaster. It also increases their ability to safely help themselves, their family and their neighbors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes the importance of preparing citizens. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and the National Fire Academy adopted and expanded the CERT materials believing them applicable to all hazards.

We typically meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month at the Emergency Services Building, 132 New Rd., Tabernacle, NJ.  Interested in joining the team or learning more about CERT training?  Click here for more information.

The Pinelands Regional CERT Team is under the supervision and direction of the Tabernacle Office of Emergency Management, with agreements in place to support the neighboring townships and OEMs of Shamong, Medford and Bass River when needed.

We have over 130 registered members who have all completed the basic FEMA CERT training. Our team participates in training provided by such professional organizations as the Tabernacle Rescue Squad Station 439, Tabernacle Fire Company #1 Station 431, and Atlantic City Electric, as well as many "tabletop" exercises provided by FEMA and other organizations.  We also devise our own training based on the emergency/event types that are specific to our area. For example, search and rescue, traffic control, crowd safety and mass communications.

ThePinelands Regional CERT Program  was created in February 2007 by William C. Lowe, Colonel (USA-Ret), the Emergency Management Coordinator  for the township of Tabernacle, NJ.  




The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens and private and government employees.