image of barnstable county courthouse

Emergency Preparedness Director Chip Reilly Performs Basic Shelter Training for Lower Cape Community Emergency Response Teams

On Thursday, November 2, 2023, Barnstable County’s Emergency Preparedness Director Chip Reilly conducted a basic shelter training for members of the BOCH (Brewster, Harwich, Orleans, Chatham) and newly formed Eastham Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). This 3-hour training provides a snapshot into how our regional shelters work, the tasks volunteer agencies support, and how to aid our most vulnerable communities during large scale events.

The training was part of the introductory CERT training for roughly 20 new members of the two teams.  The CERT program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for potential hazards and trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. The program offers a consistent nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

To become a CERT member, participants must demonstrate proficiency in selected topics, and learning new material specific to our region. The training is approximately 20 hours spread over 8 sessions.

Topics include:

  • Disaster Preparation
  • CERT Organization
  • Disaster Medical Operations
  • Disaster Psychology
  • Fire Safety & Utility Controls
  • Light Search & Rescue
  • Terrorism and CERT

The six CERT Teams across Cape Cod play a vital role in supporting our communities.  From vaccination clinics, local summer festivals, and sheltering during large impact events, our CERT volunteers contribute substantially to the readiness and resiliency of our region.

Interested in learning more or becoming a member of your local CERT? Visit Emergency Management and Response Programs – Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office (