Mission & Overview

The mission of the Citizen Corps is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.

It starts with you! The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) are integral parts of the Citizen Corps, the grass-roots movement that actively involves everyone in making our communities and our nation safer, stronger, and better prepared.  All over America, communities have organized Citizen Corps Councils to inspire people to take action and get involved. 

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) 

The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens and private and government employees.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes the importance of preparing citizens. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and the National Fire Academy adopted and expanded the CERT materials believing them to be applicable to all hazards.  Since 1993 when this training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training.

Why should I join CERT?

Your community needs you.  Join the Capital Area CERT if you want an opportunity to:

  • Educate yourself, family, and others about preparing for emergencies.
  • Help neighbors in times of disaster. 
  • Strengthen your relationship with your community

The benefits of joining CERT:
CERT training takes about 20 hours to complete and provides critical skills in emergency preparedness and response.

Participants learn how to:

  • Identify and anticipate hazards

  • Reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace

  • Extinguish small fires

  • Assist emergency responders

  • Conduct light search and rescue

  • Set up treatment areas

  • Apply basic medical techniques

  • Sheltering and Pet Sheltering

  • Help reduce survivor stress

Who should join?

  • People interested in taking an active role in hometown preparedness

  • Neighborhood Watch groups

  • Community leaders

  • Parents

  • Communities of faith

  • Scouting and youth organizations

  • Students, teachers, and administrators

  • Members of clubs and civic organizations

Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) 

In his January 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush asked all Americans to offer meaningful volunteer service in their communities, in whatever ways they could. Many medical and health volunteers offered their skills in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks. These attacks underscored the need for a more organized approach to using medical and health volunteers during an emergency.  To protect emergency responders’ safety, it is critical to prepare volunteers prior to an emergency response effort.

To support this effort, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson officially launched the MRC in July 2002.  As a result, this national movement adds unique capabilities and increased strength to communities nationwide. We hope you will consider making your own contribution.

Why should I join MRC?
It gives our community members an opportunity to participate in developing strategies to make your community healthier and safer.

  • Provides an opportunity to use and improve your skills, while keeping your family, friends and neighbors safe and healthy.

  • Gives you a chance to belong to a group with a strong sense of mission and purpose.

The benefits of joining the MRC:

  • We support local public health, while advancing the priorities of the U.S. Surgeon General

  • Promoting Disease Prevention

  • Improving health literacy

  • Eliminating health disparities

  • Enhancing public health preparedness

  • Provide no cost school based influenza immunizations to children

  • Participate in mass prophylaxis and vaccination and community disaster responses

  • Staff Shelters, both human and pets

  • Presentations at health education events

  • Train with local emergency response partners

Who should join?
All Medical, Public Health Professionals and Non-Medical Volunteers are welcome.  Your community needs:

  • Physicians, Advanced Practitioners, Nurses, EMT’s, Paramedics, Pharmacists, Respiratory Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Dentists, Veterinarians, and Epidemiologists

  • Non-Medical volunteers to fill in key support positions, including office workers, interpreters, chaplains, and legal advisors. 

Join Now! 

  1. Click on NH Responds button above.

  2. Click on the "Register Now" button under Medical Reserve Corps.

  3. Select the Capital Region MRC.

  4. Follow the instructions to complete the application.