Vista Fire: CERT Program

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Vista CERT is a not for profit organization with the following Mission: To encourage the members of our community to develop and implement personal, family and workplace disaster preparedness plans and, to provide the community properly equipped and appropriately trained civilian multi-functional disaster response teams ready to act as an adjunct to the city's emergency services in the event of a major disaster.

About Vista CERT

Following a major disaster, emergency services will be overwhelmed, leaving families, neighborhoods and businesses on their own for hours or even days. Community members need training to prepare for and safely respond to the needs of their family, co-worker and neighbors during that time period.

After several devastating U.S. incidents, the City of Vista sought new solutions to meet this vital need. A community based program called Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was implemented by the Fire Department. Vista CERT helps citizens become prepared to respond to disasters in their own neighborhoods.

Vista Fire personnel train and empower citizens in safe, effective CERT teams. CERT instructors teach citizens to take life-saving action to help their families, neighbors, businesses and communities get through the first few hours or days when emergency services are overwhelmed.


Contact: Deputy Chief: Ned Vander Pol

P: 760.310.0217 / E:

CERT teams are trained in safe, basic emergency skills valuable in any major disaster. Based on a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program, the City's CERT program will teach as many adult volunteers as possible in light search and rescue, basic fire suppression, emergency management and medical triage. Additionally, part of the curriculum includes developing emergency preparedness kits, reviewing home safety, and building community protection strategies. The greatest good for the greatest number of people is the goal; to start evacuations and first aid as quickly as possible and serve other time-critical emergency functions to help save lives and property.

Initial training is held each quarter at one of several Palomar College locations and is free of charge. Check the Palomar College website for Class 901 in the Health & Safety Education subject area.

CERT provides refresher and advanced training to volunteers throughout the year and provides expertise and support to organizations in Vista. CERT volunteers also stay involved through participation in local and regional disaster simulation drills.

For information on upcoming Vista CERT training, please call 760. 643.2801.

Who Joins CERT?

Typical CERT volunteers are men and women of all ages and skill levels that are involved in their community - or want to be. VistaCERT volunteers connect with a network of fellow volunteers, emergency service providers, government officials and agencies, businesses and schools citywide,all working together for a common cause. CERT members are trained citizen first responders that can help save lives.

Community Outreach

If you would like a presentation about Vista CERT for your civic, community, business, or other type of meeting, please call 760.643.2801.


Vista CERT is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging disaster preparation and to providing properly trained and equipped civilian teams to act as an adjunct to the City's emergency services in the event of a major disaster. Tax deductible donations are appreciated and should be sent to Vista CERT, 200 Civic Center Drive, Vista, CA 92084.

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Flash Player Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer