UPD: Campus Emergency Response Management (CERT) and Emergency Preparedness



All members of the faculty, staff, students, and other individuals associated with the campus are eligible to apply for consideration as a volunteer member of the CERT program.


The University Police Department reserves the right to screen all applicants to determine suitability for the position and may apply reasonable standards as a condition for the appointment and continuing maintenance of membership. CERT members serve at the will and pleasure of the appointing authority and may be relieved of duty with or without cause if deemed necessary for the good of the cause.


CERT members possess no special powers beyond that of acting in the capacity of "Good Samaritans" and are covered under the Volunteer Protection Act while deployed under the direction and control of the University Police Department during an actual emergency or other authorized event. Volunteers who are not public employees may be registered under the State of California's Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Program. Those members of CERT who are paid public employees for the State of California are considered disaster service workers during a disaster, state of emergency, state of war emergency or a local emergency when assigned to carry out those activities within the course and scope of their employment.

Standards and Protocols


CERT volunteers are not intended to replace profession emergency responders, nor constitute the university's primary emergency response capability. Rather, they serve as an important supplement to it and complement and enhance first-response capability when at the scene of an emergency by ensuring the safety of themselves and others until first responders arrive. CERT volunteers can then assist first-response personnel as directed.

Safety Concerns

CERT volunteers must keep their safety in mind as their first priority. CERT volunteers must know their capabilities and the limitations of their training and equipment and work within those limitations as taught within the curriculum of the CERT Training Program. CERT volunteers are never expected to place themselves into situations of undue peril.

Standard Operating Procedures

The information contained within the CERT Participant Handbook, except to the extent that it has been supplemented or superseded by specific procedures and/or guidelines issued by UPD, shall be considered the standard operating procedures for the San Jose State University CERT program.


Under no conditions will CERT volunteer:

  • Suppress large fires.
  • Enter structures that they consider heavily damaged and dangerous (e.g., leaning or moved from foundation).
  • Perform hazardous materials cleanup or respond to incidents involving radiological, chemical, or biological agents.
  • Perform medical, fire, or search and rescue operations beyond their level of training.
  • Activate or deploy without having first reported for assignment to the incident commander, field supervisor, or other designated emergency Point-of-Contact.


Prior to becoming a CERT member, all applicants must successfully complete a basic course of instruction in an SJSU approved FEMA based Community Emergency Response Team class. The course shall be a minimum of 24 hours and cover the following:

  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Fire Safety
  • Disaster Medical Operations-Triage and Treating Life Threatening Injuries
  • Disaster Medical Operations-Assessment, Treatment, and Hygiene
  • Light Search and Rescue
  • Team Organization
  • Disaster Psychology
  • Terrorism and CERT
  • Final Exercise

Required Activities

CERT volunteers will be required to attend periodic meetings and annual refresher training sessions in order to maintain and upgrade their knowledge, skills, and abilities. Members will maintain all issued equipment, restock perishable items, and acquire such additional tools or supplies as may be required. Upon separation from membership, all issued items will be returned to the program coordinator.

CERT Organization

The program coordinator may designate Senior Team Leaders, whose primary task shall be to act as organizers to help maintain and perpetuate the CERT program by assisting with the recruiting, training, and maintenance of the volunteer pool. Senior Team Leaders are expected to perform a lead, rather than supervisory role and report directly to the CERT coordinator or designee.

Helpful CERT Links