Community Emergency Response Teams: Neighbors Helping Neighbors


Tallahassee – Volunteer Florida announced today that it is awarding $300,000 in federal funding to 40 law enforcement organizations, local emergency management offices, municipalities, and counties across the state to establish or enhance Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).These organizations will match the funding dollar for dollar through cash or in-kind investments. The program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and administered by Volunteer Florida.

“Volunteer Florida’s CERT funding specifically trains Floridians to take action following emergencies or disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes,” said Chester W. Spellman, Volunteer Florida Chief Executive Officer. “This unique training allows citizens to support the critical work of our emergency management officials by deploying CERT volunteers when they are needed, saving taxpayer dollars.”

CERT was created as a grassroots approach to encourage “neighbors helping neighbors” in the event of emergencies or disasters. Grantees conduct emergency management training to enhance the capabilities of local emergency management personnel. Following their training, grantees deploy citizens to impacted areas so that they can assist in response and recovery. Citizens are prepared to assist with light search and rescue, offer immediate help to victims until professional services arrive, provide evacuation assistance, and support damage assessment teams.

“The CERT program allows communities to recruit and train civilians as neighborhood, business and government teams that become auxiliary responders during disasters,” said Bryan Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “We are thrilled that Volunteer Florida is administering this funding for Florida.”

Volunteer Florida’s 2016-2017 CERT grantees are as follows:

JurisdictionCountyGrant Funding
City of Orlando Office of Emergency Management CERTOrange$9800
Orange County Office of Emergency Management Citizen Corps Orange$7800
Orange County Office of Emergency Management CERTOrange$7800
CERT of The VillagesSumter$7800
Hernando County Sheriff's Office Emergency Management CERTHernando$7800
Nature Coast Citizen Corps CouncilHernando$7800
Pasco County Office of Emergency Management CERTPasco$7800
Flagler County Citizen CorpsFlagler$7800
Flagler County Emergency Management CERT ProgramFlagler$7800
Polk County Emergency Management Citizen CorpsPolk$7800
Charlotte County Emergency Management CERTCharlotte$7600
City of Seminole CERTPinellas$7600
Pinellas County Citizen Corps CouncilPinellas$7600
Franklin County Emergency Management CERTFranklin$7600
Indian River State College Citizen CorpsSt Lucie$7600
Cape Coral Florida CERT ProgramLee$7600
Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management CERTPalm Beach$7600
Pasco County Office of Emergency Management Citizen CorpsPasco$7600
Santa Rosa County Division of Emergency Management CERT Santa Rosa$7600
Santa Rosa County Division of Emergency Management Citizen CorpsSanta Rosa$7600
East Lake Tarpon Fire District/EL CERTPinellas$7400
Taylor County CERTTaylor$7400
Town of Century Citizen CorpsEscambia$7400
Lealman Special Fire Control District CERTPinellas$7400
Indian River State College CERTSt Lucie$7400
Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management Citizen CorpsPalm Beach$7400
Hillsborough County Citizen CorpsHillsborough$7400
Hillsborough County CERTHillsborough$7400
Town of Davie Fire Rescue Department CERTBroward$7400
Town of Davie Fire Rescue Department Citizen CorpsBroward$7400
Escambia County Citizen CorpsEscambia$7000
Citrus County Sheriff's Office CERTCitrus$7000
Citrus County Sheriff's Office Citizen CorpsCitrus$7000
Walton County Citizen Corps Walton$7000
Walton County CERTWalton$7000
City of Pensacola CERTEscambia$7000
City of Pensacola Citizen CorpsEscambia$7000
Town of Century CERTEscambia$7000
Lee County Emergency Management Volunteers Citizen CorpsLee$7000
Polk County Emergency Management CERTPolk$7000