Community Emergency Response Team

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is an emergency preparedness program supported by the Department of Homeland Security. FEMA began promoting nationwide the use of the CERT concept in 1994 based on a model created and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985.

New Braunfels CERT was established by the City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in December of 2010 with support of the leadership of the City of New Braunfels.

NBCERT members receive special training to enhance their ability to support the OEM, city first responders and all other city departments during planned events and emergency/disaster events.

The need for a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteer group was fully realized after the June 9, 2010 flood event that affected the City and surrounding communities. This devastating flood, while it did not directly result in any reported deaths, did cause millions of dollars in destruction to homes and businesses. Many volunteers stepped forward during this time of great need to help their neighbors. As a way to help and assist future willing volunteers, it was determined that the City should provide training to these energetic and valuable resources.

With the assistance of the Alamo Area Community of Governments (AACOG), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Comal County and the City of New Braunfels, NBCERT now provides training and events. The FEMA CERT Basic training consists of a 24-hour course that includes disaster first aid, light search and rescue, fire safety, disaster psychology and terrorism awareness.

At the conclusion of the training, the participants complete a disaster exercise to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have learned. The disaster exercise  is a stressful, simulated incident that is unscripted and incorporates many role playing victims in multiple states of distress. 

As a form of continuing education and development, NBCERT participates in various other training offerings. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • National Association of Search and Rescue
    • Search and Rescue Technician
    • Wilderness First Aid
    • Independent Study and Courses
    • Emergency Operation Center
  • Stop the Bleed
  • CPR/Basic First Aid and AED Courses
  • National Weather Service
    • Skywarn
  • American Red Cross
    • Shelter Operations 
NBCERT has assisted multiple agencies the City of New Braunfels Office of Emergency Management (O with various planned and emergency  events. These include, but are not limited to:
  • SAR Missions including wide area search, evidence and recovery missions
  • Shelter Operations – Local flash flooding and point to point shelters
  • Emergency Operation Center – City of New Braunfels and Comal County
    • Office of Emergency Management training
  • Disaster simulations and training events
    • SAMCEE Annual Exercise 
    • Active Shooter Training
    • Point of Distribution Exercise
    • Amateur Radio Excercise
  • Annual First Aid Events
    • Wine Saengerfest
    • Gruene Music and Wine Festival
    • Dia de los Muertos
  • Events
    • Kops and Kids
    • Safety Saturday 
NBCERT is currently working on various monthly training, courses and exercises.  We are also developing plans and procedures for many tasks that may come up during an emergency.  NBCERT utilizes the Incident Command System (ICS) for its structure and to operate while activated. NBCERT has developed several members to instruct and train the team. These in-house trainers include CERT Master Instructors, CERT Basic Instructors, NASAR Instructors-Lead Evaluators, WFA Instructors, Stop the Bleed Instructors as well as CPR/Basic First Aid-AED Instructors. NBCERT Instructors provide many training opportunities to  members!

NBCERT is seeking additional team members to assist when the next flood, fire or other emergency or planned event occurs. Members range from high school students to retirees – and everyone brings something to the table.  We encourage all community members and families to take the FREE CERT Basic course and then join the team. You do not need to join the team to take the free training for your own preparedness knowledge. .