CERTs are funded by Congress through Citizen Corps program grants, which are made available to local communities. A key component of Citizen Corps, the CERT program trains citizens to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies occur, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize volunteers at a disaster site. The CERT program is a 20-hour course, typically delivered over a seven-week period by a local government agency, such as the emergency management agency or fire or police department. Training sessions cover disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, and team operations. The training also includes a disaster simulation in which participants practice skills that they learned throughout the course.