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.  Dan Ryken, the Highland Recreation Center's CERT Coordinator, is happy to answer any questions or to put you on a sign up list. Contact Dan at (650) 341-4251 or by email at danr@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 Cal Fire Station 17, 320 Paul Scannel Dr, San Mateo CA 94402, phone (650) 345-1612.  If you need to contact CERT during an emergency this is the place to go.

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.

Highlands CERT Links

Highlands Community Resource Links

  • Emergency: phone for fire, police & medical (911)
  • Cal Fire Station 17: non-emergency phone (650-573-3842) and address (320 Paul Scannell Dr., San Mateo, CA 94402)
  • Sheriff: non-emergency phone (650-363-4911)
  • PG&E: phone (800-743-5000)
  • Sewer: overflow hotline (650-363-4100)
  • Highlands Community Association (HCA): Website
  • Highlands Recreation District (HRD): phone (650)341-4251, address 1851 Lexington Ave, San Mateo CA 94402 and Website

More Resource Links

Last updated 12/12/2021 by S. Sakai

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