Emergency communications vehicle
Bernardo in action

Emergency Management and Response Programs

Barnstable County Sheriff's Office

The Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office is active in our community to assist with emergency management and response when the need arises.

Community Emergency Response Team

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), using the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) model created by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, began promoting nationwide use of the CERT concept in 1994. Since then, CERTs have been established in hundreds of communities nationwide.

The BCSO manages a CERT program on Cape Cod, a program taught by emergency personnel to train residents, community organizations or workplaces in basic response skills. CERT members are then integrated into emergency response capability for their area so that if a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community’s professional response, CERT members can assist by applying the basic response and organizational skills that they learned during training. Following a disaster this additional community training can help save and sustain lives until professional help arrives. The training provided by the BCSO is free, and many volunteers are willing to serve on an on-call basis for regional disasters.

All residents interested in training for their community’s CERT Team are required to complete the CERT Application for Volunteer Service and CORI forms and submit them to the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office for approval prior to the start of the program. CERT Team programs are conducted approximately once a year by the BCSO. Watch this website for the next scheduled training program dates.


In addition to the CERT program, since 2011 the Sheriff’s Office also partners with LoJack to provide a local missing persons program known as SafetyNet. This program provides at risk and frequent wanderers with homing devices that allow first responders to find them in a more efficient manner than a conventional search. The BCSO has trained a cross section of its officers on how to use the system which has two parts: a homing device worn by those at-risk to become lost or wander off; and antennae and other equipment used by rescuers to find them. The device -- a small, lightweight bracelet -- emits beeps which gets louder or softer as the wanderer gets closer or further away. SafetyNet’s average find time is 30 minutes, compared to nine hours in a conventional search. The BCSO has personnel from four units (K9, emergency communications, Special Response Team, and Citizens’ Emergency Response Team) certified and eager to begin tracking.

If you or a loved one are a suitable candidate for this program, please go to the SafetyNet website.

dispatch at sunrise
Tactical Response Team