Community Emergency Response Team

 What Is CERT?

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

CERT TEAM from Left:

  • Larry Theis
  • Bill Steen
  • Edith George
  • David Clarkson
  • Bessie Kofsky
  • Danny Blackburn
  • Jean White
  • Betty Ann Rigg
  • Jim Peterson

CERT – Community Emergency Response Team volunteers are average people who want to be prepared for any neighborhood emergency.

CERT in South Venice

The South Venice CERT Team is comprised of members who have been trained by Sarasota County to help themselves, their families, neighbors and anyone who may need help immediately after an emergency.  CERTt members are trained to save lives, provide first aid and give comfort and compassion to anyone in need. Most members of the team are not medical personnel, although they welcome anyone with medical experience.

CERT members demostrating Team lifting with CERT volunteer Bessie Kofsky.


The South Venice CERT Team wants everyone, whether CERT trained or not, to be survivors not victimes in case a disaster strikes our area. Everyone should have a plan as well as supplies such as bottled water, nonperishable food, any medications needed, extra blankets, minor first aid medical supplies (bandages, disinfectant, and so on), and don’t forget to provide for your pets with extra food, water, meds, and if you have a cat, extra litter.

CERT members and supplies

The South Venice CERT Team has a “Get to know your neighbor” program. They have a form to exchange with your neighbors, so you know who may need extra help during an emergency and who may have a generator, 4-wheel drive vehicle or even medical emergency experience. The form is available at the SVCA office.

Interested In Volunteering?

The CERT Team meets the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the SVCA administration building, and they welcome all to attend. If you would like more information please Contact Us!