Highlands CERT Program

Community Emergency Response Team

Highlands CERT is part of a nationwide program that (1) provides basic disaster training to members of the local community and (2) coordinates their activities in a disaster situation if professional responders are not immediately available. Also see Why Join CERT ?

Highlands CERT Training

Free Highland's CERT training is conducted twice each year by firefighters at Cal Fire Station 17, usually in February and September. Tricia Hall, the Highland Recreation Center's CERT Coordinator, is happy to answer any questions or to put you on a sign up list. Contact Tricia at (650) 341-4251 or by email at tricia@highlandsrec.ca.gov.

Training typically consists of six two-hour sessions held on a weekday evening once/week plus a four-hour practice exercise held the following Saturday morning. A completion certificate is provided and if you miss a class you can make it up either at the next training or in another city's CERT training. The class size is 15-20 students. A firefighter leads this training and is assisted by the Highlands Rec Center CERT Coordinator and other community CERT members.

The sessions are designed to make you comfortable and include plenty of relaxed class interaction and small team exercises. No tests either; however, several breaks with cookies and coffee help make up for that missing feature. Most attendees show up for all six training sessions, probably because they are interesting and fun as well as useful.

Highlands Command Post

In an emergency a CERT Command Post is scheduled to be set up in front of the Highlands Recreation Center, 1851 Lexington Ave, San Mateo CA 94402, between Ticonderoga Dr and Yorktown Rd. If you need to contact CERT during an emergency this is the place to go.

Soon after any relevant emergency the Highlands CERT trailer containing emergency supplies will be moved to this Command Post location from Cal Fire Station 17. It can be readily identified by the large CERT sign on the side.

This trailer is where the CERT Command Team is scheduled to be located during emergencies. The Command Team will be manned by trained CERT leaders in direct communication with a firefighter. This is also where any available CERT team members will gather after an emergency to pick up radio communications & rescue gear and to be directed as appropriate by the Command Team.


During training individual CERT members are given a free backpack containing a variety of emergency supplies such as an identification vest, helmet, medical supplies, gloves and a flashlight. Members often supplement these materials with their own unique emergency supplies as well.

Highlands CERT has a large trailer complete with a variety of basic medical and rescue supplies and powered by a gas generator. This trailer is located at Cal Fire Station 17 and will be moved by the CERT team to the Highlands Command Post soon after an emergency.

For more details check out: Highlands CERT Program