Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Disaster Response Training; CERT Classes Start March 7

CERT trained volunteers with LAFD Fire Chief Captain Kristin M. Crawley (center) and former Mayor Eric Garcetti at an event last year.


As the recent rains have demonstrated, disaster preparedness is everyone’s job! If you’d like to learn more about how you can be prepared to be more resilient in the face of disasters, or want to be part of a larger community response supporting our city’s first responders, the timing of the LAFD Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is perfect.

Dormant during the panic, CERT training is starting again. The first session of 2023 is set to resume in March, said Buzz reader Ben Goldfarb, an LAFD CERT Call Out Team member and Coordinator for Battalion 5, Station 27 at the LAFD West Bureau, who told us about the upcoming sessions.

Class Schedule Date and times
Tue, Mar 7, 2023, 7:00 PM – Tue, Apr 18, 2023, 9:30 PM PST

1800 N. Bronson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028

The class enrollment is limited to about 45 people. Registration is now open. Click here to sign up via Eventbrite

The program is designed to train civilians in basic emergency first aid and other skills in the event of a major disaster. The program was inspired by former Los Angeles Assistant Fire Chief Frank Borden, who traveled to Japan to learn how the Japanese responded to disastrous earthquakes, as well as a visit to Mexico City following the 8.1 earthquake in which more than 10,000 people were killed. Borden saw everyday citizens helping out when disaster struck.  LAFD created a pilot program in 1986 to teach a core group of community members about basic fire suppression, first aid, search, and evacuation techniques. The first 30 people who completed the training demonstrated the effectiveness of the CERT concept, but it wasn’t until the October 1, 1987 Whittier Narrows Earthquake that the city saw evidence of how valuable the CERT program could be and stepped up to support it. In 1993, CERT became part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offerings to communities nationwide.

All CERT courses are taught by LAFD Firefighters. Courses include a PDF text book book, classroom discussion and hands-on experience. Participants must attend each class to be eligible for certification.

Goldfarb got involved once he retired, initially to learn what to do in an emergency for his own family. But soon he was hooked on the camaraderie and service to the community. Becoming a volunteer with LAFD has been so rewarding and fun, Goldfarb told the Buzz.

“This is such a positive program to be part of, I’m working with people from all walks of life and sharing these experiences of serving the community as we serve to multiply the numbers of people who can assist following a catastrophe. I recommend the training for everyone!” said Goldfarb.


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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