Welcome to BOCH CERT

BOCH Community Emergency Response Team

Serving Brewster, Orleans, Chatham, and Harwich, Massachusetts

Member Calendar

Information and Training

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CERT History

The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department 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.

CERT became a national program in 1993. There are now CERT programs in all 50 states, including many tribal nations and U.S. territories. Each is unique to its community and all are essential to building a Culture of Preparedness in the United States. There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide and more than 600,000 people have trained since CERT became a national program.


BOCH CERT is a group of volunteers specifically trained, certified, and capable to support local community’s disaster responses including:

  • First Responder Support and Rehab
  • Light Search and Rescue (SAR)
  • Point of Distribution and Shelter Operations
  • Mass Casualty, Triage, and Disaster Medical Operations.

CERT TEAM members train regularly to maintain a strong foundation of support to our communities. These training exercises were developed according to national guidance and principles outlined by the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program. It is important that CERT programs tailor their exercises to reflect realistic events that may impact their community to practice skills they need to test or practice most.


CERT Basic Training prepares you to help yourself and help others in the event of a catastrophic disaster. Because emergency services personnel will not be able to help everyone immediately, you can make a difference by using your CERT training to save lives and protect property.

First responder personnel are always the best trained and equipped to handle emergencies. Following a catastrophic disaster, however, you and your community may be isolated for an extended period for a myriad of reasons, including the size of the area
affected, inoperable communications systems, or unpassable roads.

BOCH CERT believes that training, practice, and by working as a team, we will be able to protect ourselves, our communities, and maximize our capability to help the greatest number of people after a disaster.

BOCH CERT In The News…

Help wanted: Retirees answer call to assist in COVID-19 fight

By Cynthia McCormick Cape Cod Times