Code of Conduct
The LAFD CERT program is the most active and respected CERT program in the nation. This has been achieved due to the dedication and commitment of our members, who continually strive to be a resource to the Los Angeles communities.
You represent the CERT program to new members, to the public, and to those to whom we render our services. It is important to portray a positive image.
ALL VIOLATIONS WILL BE THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATED. DURING THE INVESTIGATION PROCESS, INVOLVED MEMBERS WILL BE TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED FROM ALL CERT ACTIVITIES, PENDING THE OUTCOME OF THE INVESTIGATION. SAID MEMBERS WILL BE NOTIFIED AS TO THEIR STATUS WITH THE CERT PROGRAM BY THE CERT COMMANDER. PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, COUNSELING, WRITTEN NOTICE AND RESTRICTION OF INVOLVEMENT WITH THE LAFD CERT PROGRAM TO CERT COMMUNITY MEETINGS, QUARTERLY DIVISION TRAININGS AND REFRESHERS.
As a volunteer with the LAFD CERT program, you are expected to comply with the following:
- Dial 911 for all emergencies, first.
- Know you are not a Firefighter. You are trained to function as an extension of the fire department’s response to CATASTROPHIC disasters, when such circumstances exist or when directed by emergency services officials.
- When disaster occurs, your first responsibility is to ensure your own safety and the safety of your family.
- After, you can respond to your Battalion Headquarters to join with other CERT members.
- You shall not respond to any large incidents.
- Do not self-deploy to local events (fires, accidents, etc). Only the CERT Call-Out Teams that are requested by the LAFD may respond. LAFD ALERT Messages (email, Twitter, radio etc.) are not official instructions or authorization to take action.
- Stay within the scope of your training. You have been trained under the curriculum of FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team program. Confine your actions to those guidelines and stay within the scope of your training and certification.
- Bring or wear your personal safety equipment: helmet (no baseball hats), vest, dust mask, goggles, gloves (rubber/latex and leather), sturdy shoes, long pants, flashlight (with extra batteries), bottled water, non-perishable food, and a set of the CERT forms. Bring any other items you feel appropriate. Absolutely no shorts, sandals or open-toed shoes are allowed!!
- Confine your actions to your physical and resource limitations when responding as a member of CERT. Such limitations may be determined by, but not limited to, equipment available, physical abilities, knowledge, authority and hazards.
- Conduct yourself with professionalism, dignity and pride, and act appropriately and responsibly at all times while assisting others.
- Treat fellow team members, visitors, other volunteer program participants, guests, and property with respect and courtesy.
- Be sensitive to the diversity of team members and those we assist.
- Direct anyone who is looking for official statements from LAFD CERT to the LAFD CERT Commander at 213-202-3136.
- Respect the privacy of persons served by LAFD CERT and hold, in confidence, all sensitive, private, and personal information.
- Keep LAFD CERT leadership informed of any progress, concerns, or problems with tasks which you have been assigned.
- Partake of no alcohol while responding as CERT and do not report for duty while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- You are forbidden to carry guns, knives, sticks or other weapons (You can have multipurpose tools, pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc.). You have been trained for immediate disaster response and there is no need, place or legal authorization for you to carry or use any of the above. To do so will jeopardize your own safety and the continued existence of the CERT program in Los Angeles.
- You shall not authorize the use of, or use for the benefit or advantage of any person, the name, emblem, endorsement, services or property of the LAFD CERT program, without the approval of the LAFD CERT Commander.
- You shall not accept, or seek on behalf of any other person, any money or gifts offered as a result of your affiliation with the LAFD CERT program.
- You shall not use your participation in CERT to promote any partisan politics, religious matters or positions on any issue.
- You shall avoid inappropriate conduct, both on- and off-duty, that would jeopardize program effectiveness. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Offensive or profane language or gestures
- Public criticism of a CERT team member, its leaders or the CERT program
- Jeopardizing another team member’s safety.
LAFD CERT is committed to a policy of fair representation and will not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, disability, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, geography, or group affiliations. Volunteers will adhere to these same standards in the course of their duties.