Created in 1999 after the community experienced a severe flood on New Years day 1997, Ashland’s CERT program has trained over 950 volunteers to be better prepared to survive in a disaster making Ashland’s CERT program one of the most successful in the nation. CERT has been mobilized over thirty times for activities ranging from managing emergency shelters to evacuating residents during wildfires. CERT's core competency is "preparing our community to endure disasters."
Ashland CERT can attribute its success to Ashland's culture of community and the investment the people of Ashland make in organizing an amazing group of volunteers. The partnership of Ashland Fire & Rescue has also contributed significantly toward the success of Ashland CERT.
CERT is funded by Ashland taxpayers. Prior to 2020 it additionally received federal grants. The City provides one part-time employee, the program coordinator, and an office at Ashland Fire & Rescue Station 1.
Federal grants provided funds for training, disaster preparedness and awareness, exercises, and essentially all the activities the CERT program undertakes outside of limited taxpayer funds. CERT's federal grants primarily came from Department of Homeland Security grants via Oregon's Office of Emergency Management (OEM). Our program falls under the organization of Jackson County's Citizen Corps Council.
To date, CERT has acquired federal grant awards totaling over $289,159. Ashland CERT can be characterized as your Homeland Security dollars at work.