The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. Since then, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognized the importance of preparing citizens. Now, the CERT training has been adopted and expanded by the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and the National Fire Academy since 1993.

Our city has recognized the need to augment Fire department personnel with trained citizens who can help in case of a disaster. The Saratoga CERT program uses the national CERT curriculum developed and promulgated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the training provided by the Santa Clara County Fire Department’s CERT Liaison and Instructional Team, to train interested Saratoga residents.

The Saratoga CERT program is overseen, for legal and budgetary purposes, by the City of Saratoga’s Department of the City Manager. The CERT organization is managed by volunteers.


Saratoga CERT organizes itself into 4 formal divisions and an “at-large” group:

Disaster Service Worker (DSW) ID Card

New CERT and SARA/RACES members, as well as existing members with expired cards, can get a DSW ID card by submitting a photo of yourself that meets the following Photo ID Criteria via email to Leslie Arroyo. Cards will be mailed to you after being printed. If you do not have a photo that meets these requirements, contact Leslie Arroyo to request an appointment to have your photo taken.

Photo ID Criteria:

  • Photo shows your full face 
  • Photo should be taken with shoulders and face directly positioned towards the camera (do not angle your face or body and no selfies) 
  • Photo should be clear and well lit (without shadows obscuring your face)
  • Use a neutral, plain, and solid colored background for the photo (such as a wall)
  • Do not digitally alter the photo (no filters)   

Local Ham Radio Organizations

Plans, Information, & Training

City of Saratoga 

Santa Clara County 


  • IS-100.C: Introduction to Incident Command System – ICS 100, Introduction to the Incident Command System, introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
  • IS-700.B: National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction –This course provides an overview of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). The National Incident Management System defines the comprehensive approach guiding the whole community – all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations (NGO), and the private sector – to work together seamlessly to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the effects of incidents. The course provides learners with a basic understanding of NIMS concepts, principles, and components.