Easy details for your...

Background Check and Application Form

The CERT program requires a background check* and a notarized application form. 

YOU DO NOT need to have your Application and Background Check completed in order to sign up.

(1) Sign up now.

(2) Get your Background Check.

(3) Fill in your form, and bring it to the class....come 15-20 minutes early, and we'll notarize it for you there. 


Background check needs to be from this past year.

This a simple via a local Police Department — you need a "federal NCIC criminal check" (or just say it's for the DeKalb County CERT program, they're familiar).   

Needs to be from this past year. .(Get in touch with Joel through this form or email if you have any questions)

Fastest & Cheapest & Closest Place?

Chamblee Police Department

(near PDK Airport, about 15 minute drive from Toco Hills.)

3518 Broad St.

Chamblee, GA 30341

(770) 986-1068

It costs $5…and takes about 5-10 minutes.

Easy peasy.

Just bring your Driver’s License.

Monday - Friday

8:00 am - 6:00 pm


You can also do this in other locations.

*You do NOT need a background check IF…

1)  if you are a federal, state or county employee, with a background check that is less than a year old, and carry that ID.  PLEASE BRING A COPY  of that ID,


OR is you have an assignment letter to a federal project, that is less than a year old.


(If not, please spend few minutes and $5 to get a fresh background check.)


2)  you have a recent Concealed Carry Permit (CCW), that check will cover you IF IS HAS BEEN ISSUED WITHIN THE PAST YEAR

3) If you're a teenager; you will need to have a parent with you at the first session, to sign a consent form

Application Form is basic contact information, and a liability form..

NOTARIZE AT SESSION ONE: Yes, the form says it needs to be notarized... but if you haven't done this yet...Amazing Gail Vexler from our Beth Jacob Atlanta office is a Notary Public, and she is coming to support you and the CERT program...she will do this for you at the first session. (You can still come by during office hours and she will do this, or do this elsewhere)

Here's your application >>  

Easiest to download from desktop/laptop.

Please NOTE: This is a generic form, and details on this page override the information on the form. >>


Want to shift from...

"Somebody's got to

do something..."

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is designed to teach people like you and me the skills we need to deal with a range of issues and emergencies.


Medical emergencies and first aid. Hurricane, tornadoes, and big storms. Terrorism. Power outage or gas leak. Putting out a small fire before it grows big. De-escalating difficult situations. And more.

You Are the Help Until Help Arrives. You may be able to help someone in an emergency... or save a life or property... by taking simple actions immediately. And your CERT training allows Police and Fire teams to focus on the most complex tasks.


Our CERT  will begin on January 7th with a special accelerated  "time-efficient format" to provide the 9-module training in just 5 Sundays afternoons. It's offered by Dekalb Emergency Management Agency (and counties across the country). 


This special accelerated CERT program is hosted by Congregation Beth Jacob, and is offered to the citizens of Toco Hills and the Greater Atlanta community. It meets just 5 times in"double" sessions...instead of the usual 9 weekly sessions. There is no charge.


Participants learn what to do before, during and after a disaster occurs, and to care for family, friends and neighbors. 

Those of us participating in the class gain experience with a variety of issues including...

  • disaster preparedness and team organization

  • basic fire suppression of small fires —you'll use a fire extinguisher on real fire in the parking lot

  • medical operations and triage — what to do first can be critical

  • emergency evacuation (including inspection of facilities available at the end of the program)

  • light search and rescue (with a live exercise)

  • terrorism awareness

  • autism awareness

  • alternative ways to deal with aggressive behavior... including  verbal judo module

  • disaster psychology

  • There is a simple Application, and a Background Check required...see details below

  • There is a free manual.and some of this special program is being customized to our requests...PLUS...

  • Graduates -- who complete at least 8 of the 10 modules (in the 5 double sessions) -- get a Certificate, a T-shirt,  and a CERT Emergency Kit backpack packed with valuable emergency tools with training on how to use it, at no cost.  


Major Emergency Drill

If you opt in to this, you'll participate in a large-scale Major Emergency Simulation, which will combine all skills you learn in the program. Dozens of volunteers will be brought in from local colleges as "victims"...we'll use skills in Light Search & Rescue... fire suppression...first aid and triage....more. (Not required for "graduation.")

"I’ve been a CERT member for Sandy Springs and DeKalb since it started and it’s just a wonderful program. I encourage you to get involved.

"It just takes a small group of caring, committed citizens to make a difference"

Cindy Sedran

Springfield Mill Brook Neighborhood Watch Captain

"Great program. I have been through it twice. Once in Florida and once here."

Shelly Malkin Bloom 


" I got this!"



CERT-TocoHills is FILLED to capacity. We encourage you to join other sessions put on by DEMA (see this page)...or we'll help you start your own. 

Please use this form to sign up or to contact CERT-TocoHills team.

MESSAGE SENT. Remember, bookmark this page to get answers & updates 😃

FAQs and Updates

will appear HERE.

please bookmark this page

and check back here

Please review these FAQs, due to the size of the class and logistics involved, this is the central place for information. Please come back here to visit..any points that might have been missed will likely be updated right here.

Q  How much does it cost?

A   The program is free, paid for by FEMA, presented by DEMA (DeKalb Emergency Management Agency)..

Q  When does it start? Is it weekly?

A   The program will start on Sunday, January 7th with 5 "double" sessions on Sunday afternoons (instead of 9 meeting sessions, as it is usually offered). You're done in just a few weeks.

Q  Dates and place, please?

A   Jan 7

       Jan 14

       Jan 21

       Jan 28

       [ Feb 4 ]   << NO SESSION. We are celebrating the religious holiday known as SuperBowl.

       Feb 11  

Each double class is currently scheduled to run from 2:30 to 6:30, with a short break. (Any minor adjustment in time will be posted here.)

This training will be held at:

Beth Jacob Atlanta

1855 LaVista Road
in the Conference Room (for most sessions)


Major Emergency Simulation Drill

CERT graduates should put their skills to the test during a Major Emergency Simulation at the DeKalb County firefighters training facility. Amazing training and an exceptional experience, taps a range of skills we're learning, and This will be scheduled and updated here very soon.

Q  What if I can't make all the classes?

A  If you can make  most of them, please sign up.

New opportunity to make up classes, in case you need to miss a session...they are offered on Tuesday or Thursday evenings on a similar schedule as our programThese makeup sessions are shorter, 

covering "one" training module. (Our Sunday classes cover two at each meeting; so if you want to make sure you attend every session, you can go to 2 shorter evening sessions to make up a missed Sunday "double" session). You need 8 of 9 modules to "graduate" (we're squeezing in a 10th on "verbal judo")...but even if you take most of the classes, you are that much more prepared to deal with an emergency than you are now.

Option 1 

On Thursdays, starting January 4   (7–9:30 p.m.)

Option 2

On Tuesdays, starting January 9   (7–9:30 p.m)


DeKalb Fire Rescue Headquarters

1950 West Exchange Place

Tucker, GA 30084

(it's near NorthLake Mall, just outside I-285)

For more information on these make-up sessions:

Thomas Paige

Emergency Management Specialist

(678) 406-7858‬



Chayne Sparagowski

Emergency Management Specialist



We will be posting 2 pdfs during the next few days, to show you detailed class schedules so you can manager your own make-up sessions if needed....and also show upcoming 2018 programs

Q  I don't know if I can get away for 4 hours, I'm pretty busy...

A  That's a question? No kvetching. Hey, everybody is busy with other interests.. If you want to be trained and available to help our precious community, should it be needed, you can rise to the occasion and work it out. And this isn't a commitment forever, its for a few weeks. Can I get an "Amen"?

Q  Can I put off my sign-up until the last minute?

A  Sure, if it works (but it might not). If you want to get in to these particular special training sessions. you will not be able to beg, cajole, or squeeze in...the top limit cannot expand... so you might want to (OMG...breathe... ) make... the... commitment... now. (Whew...I'm okay!) You want to be a person who takes action, to use this training... and if you're considering it, then you're right for this program...we all need you.

Q  How do I stay in touch with what's going on, or any updates? 

Please return to this web page for information. Really...it's here. It's faster for you, to get the answers here. And we will assume that right after you send your email or form, that you'll find those answers right here.

The EMAILS we send with updates, and link to the webpage will always have the word "CERT" in the subject line, so please search your email first (use the "search" function" and look for "CERT".... you don't have to look through all your email). 

Q  If I complete the course...

...you will be trained in these key topics, and be empowered to "do something" if needed.  If you complete 8 of the 10 modules you will also get a Certificate and a valuable Emergency Kit knapsack filled with emergency response equipment, and know how to use it. 

Q  Is there a commitment for "service" after I learn these skills?

A  No regular commitment to "serve"....just a commitment to the classes.  And to use your skills if and when they're needed, which you'll do naturally...because you'll know how. (If you are inspired to help others, you can use these skills via DeKalb County's volunteer rescue corp...talk with Thomas or Joel at the trainings, or get in touch.)

Q  Is this program for kids or teens?

A  Younger kids....no. Mature teens...yes, 13 years old minimum. They should apply separately, and parents will sign a consent form at the training.

Q  Are there additional programs and training?

A  Let's get this under our belts. Then "we'll see." We've had interest in a CPR class and other safety training.

Q  WHEN the program fills up?

A  If you waited too long...or we fill up....or you heard how great it was, and later you want to do it... you can take this program through DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency, it's offered a few times each year. (Contact info right here on this page.)

Want to do your own session? We will help you set up your own program at your synagogue, church, school or elsewhere. We will share our experience on how to make this simpler and successful....feel free to be in touch with Joel Alpert from this initiative for guidance on setting this up, or directly with the CERT folks (their contact info is on this page). 

Q  If I've already taken the program elsewhere, can I do it again?

A You may have trained in Georgia or elsewhere, and you can take it again. We know of two people who've done it twice, and they say it's great and valuable the 2nd time, too. 

Q  Can I invite others to the class?

Yes.. There is a background check and application (see section on this page). The CERT-Toco Hills team leadership reserves the right to restrict admission to this program at its discretion.

Q  What if I don't live in DeKalb?

Yes, you can attend.. Go ahead and sign up now, 

Q  Is there anything I can do to help?

A Yes, Our team needs for this new program are evolving, so if you want to help, please let us know.  


We'd also like to have some simple (kosher certified) refreshments during the quick break halfway through each class, so you might offer to sponsor that and make it happen. 

REGISTRATION for this Jan 7th program


Thanks to 70 people who signed up, who are helping keep our community safe.

to January-March Toco Hills
participant page

All original content © 2017 — 2018  Joel Alpert / MarketPower, Atlanta, GA.

Atlanta Jewish Times ran this article on our CERT program in January. Click the PDF to view, save, or print out,

Please note in your calendar for January 7th:





...or copy of your concealed carry license

3)  your ID

...to the first session on JANUARY 7TH.

(Make copies for your own files if you like, before you come to the session.)


CERT-Toco Hills website is hosted by MarketPower

More about the national CERT program on Wikipedia:


CERT training class atlanta Toco Hills January 2018 saturday sunday weekend

All original content © 2017 — 2018  Joel Alpert / MarketPower, Atlanta, GA.