Trained HB Residents Help Keep Community Safe

Huntington Beach resident John Wysocki worked in education for more than three decades and he defined success by instilling a sense of community, volunteerism, and empathy for others in his students.   

“My goal after retirement was to find an organization with those same values, and CERT fit the bill perfectly,” said Wysocki. 

As good as the Huntington Beach first responders are, oftentimes our city residents and bystanders are the first ones on the scene during a crisis. Those residents who have gone through the Huntington Beach Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program are well-suited to provide immediate and potentially lifesaving assistance before first responders arrive. 

Founded in 1991, the Huntington Beach CERT program was one of the first in the nation. CERT has now expanded to all 50 states as a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) endorsed training program. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations.  CERT prepares you to help yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your community in the event of a disaster. 

HB CERT Volunteer Jill Beideman said, “I enjoy participating in the CERT program because I am trained and prepared to help the Huntington Beach community when needed.” 

Huntington Beach has highly trained and well-equipped public safety personnel, but if a major disaster occurs, it’s unlikely fire and police personnel will be able to respond to everyone’s calls immediately. However, CERT volunteers are trained to prepare for and respond to their community until first responders arrive.   

In order to become a CERT volunteer, you must complete a 20-hour FEMA/CERT training class, which is held twice each year in Huntington Beach. Upon successfully completing this training, you will be an official CERT volunteer. For more information visit the HB CERT webpage.

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