Saratoga CERT is managed by the City of Saratoga with support from the Santa Clara County Fire Department. It has a trained cadre of leadership volunteers whose input directs the group. Volunteers lead in the areas of planning, communications, and logistics. In time of disaster the operations of Saratoga CERT are coordinated from the City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as pre-planned neighborhood divisions assess the damage in their neighborhoods, assist the injured, fight small fires, perform light search and rescue, and fulfill disaster related tasks as needed.
Community Emergency Response Teams fill a vital part of the overall response to disasters by ensuring the safety and well being of their homes and families, and by providing the grass roots service needed on the neighborhood level to those affected by disaster. In major catastrophe's First Responder agencies are often overwhelmed by the demands placed upon them and CERTs can help fill the response gaps that are inevitable. It is one of the crucial methods of mobilizing residents of the City in support of the overall response, and helps solve problems while reducing the victim population.