[Revised Nov 21 2016 to add a link to the CA OES DSW page.]
[ See bottom of page for older revision information]

This page provides information about DSW renewal for CERT members of Encinitas, Del Mar, and Solana Beach (abbreviated below as Enc/DM/SB). These three cities have a combined Fire Department, which is the CERT sponsoring agency, and common CERT academies, administration, and procedures. With minor differences in details, the DSW process is common, so for the greater good, this Encinitas CERT website is hosting this information for CERT members of its sister cities.

All Enc/DM/SB CERT Team Members need to carry an up-to-date (unexpired) CERT Disaster Service Worker (DSW) ID Card to be deployed, or to participate in most CERT training events. For a detailed explanation of the DSW program, including rights, responsibilities, and administrative details, see Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Program on the California Office of Emergency Services website.

Please check the expiration date on your ID card, and if it’s within 30 days of expiration follow these instructions:

dsw_timeline

  • Fill out the Disaster Services Worker Application (instructions below).
  • Complete a simple background check required by your city (instructions below) if you have not already done this.
  • Complete IS-317 and provide your certificate of completion if required for this renewal.(See instructions below)
  • Stay current with your CERT training by attending at least one qualifying training session per year. Qualifying training includes CERT Academy final drills, countywide CERT exercises, and quarterly training sessions and other CERT exercises specifically designated as qualifying by the Enc/DM/SB Fire Department.
    In general, qualifying training events will be flagged with a “[+]” notation in their Calendar entry on this website. For any questions, ask the indicated event contact.
  • If your card has expired and you have not attended a qualifying training session in the past year, see these instructions below.

DSW (Disaster Service Worker) Form Instructions

Please read and follow these instructions exactly. If they are not followed, the County will reject the form and we (you) will need to resubmit, delaying delivery of your renewal card.

  1. Download the form using the link for your city. If you use the wrong form, it will be rejected and you will need to resubmit.:
    Encinitas Disaster Services Worker Application
    Del Mar Disaster Services Worker Application
    Solana Beach Disaster Services Worker Application
  2. The form must be completed in blue ink, black ink, or typed, not pencil, and must be LEGIBLE.
  3. For renewals, please check RENEWAL
  4. For renewals, DO NOT complete the Loyalty Oath of Affirmation box. That means do not write your name, and do not write the date. (This cannot be stressed enough; this is the main cause of rejection by the County).
  5. Complete your name, residence mailing address, email address and telephone numbers.
  6. Put the date in the Renewal area. The date is the date that you are completing the application. If the Renewal Date is before your expiration date, the new expiration date will be two years from the current expiration date. If the Renewal Date is after your expiration date, the new expiration date will be two years from the Renewal Date.
  7. Old copies of the form will not be accepted. The only form that will be accepted is dated September 2013 on the lower left. This is the same for all three city’s forms. If you have trouble downloading the form from the link above it can be emailed to you.
  8. Sign where it says Signature of Applicant/DSW Volunteer only.
  9. Scan the signed form to a .pdf file and attach it to an email to Arnie Lewin at alewin@encinitasca.gov for processing.
  10. Alternatively, a member can mail (USPS) their application to Arnie; for the mailing address, contact him at the email address just above.
  11. If the County states that there is no picture on file, we will need a “head shot” in a jpg format. You will need a white background, sunglasses are not permitted.

Live Scan Background Check Instructions

As of March 2012, a background check is a mandatory requirement to remain in the Enc/DM/SB CERT program. The Live Scan background check only needs to be done once, it doesn’t need to be renewed.

You may have submitted for a Department of Justice or other background check in the past for your employment or for any other volunteer activities, but due to privacy restrictions, those results cannot be shared with us, including between cities.

Please download the Live Scan Request Form for your city. If you use the wrong form, this probably won’t be noticed by the Live Scan operator, so you will likely end up getting a live scan background check performed that will not be usable by your city, that you will not be reimbursed for, and that will then require you to do another live scan procedure with the correct form.
Encinitas CERT Live Scan Request Form.
Del Mar CERT Live Scan Request Form.
Solana Beach CERT Live Scan Request Form.

Print the form and complete the “Applicant Information” section, leaving everything starting with “Your Number” and below blank.

We have made arrangements with Coastal Live Scan, 144 West D Street, Encinitas, for all Enc/DM/SB CERT members. See http://www.coastallivescan.com/Fingerprinting.html Coastal Live Scan is open Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM, but closed for lunch between 1:30 and 2:30.

Alternatively, you can use Del Mar Live Scan, 3830 Valley Center Drive, Suite 705, San Diego, 858- 342-2389. Valley Center Drive is just north of the 56 and east of Carmel Creek Road. They are located at the Postal Annex in the shopping center. For more information see http://www.delmarlivescan.com/. However, Del Mar will not reimburse cash payments, and will only accept direct billing from Coastal Live Scan, so Del Mar CERT members should use Del Mar Live Scan only if paying for Livescan personally is worth the convenience of not traveling to Encinitas.

A fee of $20 has been negotiated with both operators, and that’s all you should be charged, and this is the maximum you will be reimbursed, or that will be paid directly by Del Mar.

Bring the completed form to the Livescan agency. Please take a look at the faq on Coastal Live Scan’s website as to what (1) Filled-in Request Form, (2) ID documents, and (3) Payment to bring with you. If you forget the form, they will not be able to perform the Livescan.

Your city will be notified when you pass the Livescan screening.

Encinitas CERT members: Please take your paid receipt to the cashier’s office at Encinitas City Hall, 505 South Vulcan Avenue Ave., and you will be reimbursed. City Hall is open from 7 A.M. to 6 P.M and closed on alternate Fridays. It’s about a two-block walk, with a small hill, between Coastal Live Scan and City Hall.

Del Mar CERT members: The City of Del Mar will be billed directly by Coastal Live Scan, and you will not be charged at the time of the procedure. There is no reimbursement or direct billing procedure for any other Livescan operator.

Solana Beach CERT members: Please take your receipt to Solana Beach City Hall, 635 South Highway 101 and give it to Kyle Koszewnik. Kyle will complete the payment request and submit it to Finance and you will receive reimbursement in the mail.

For further information about Live Scan fingerprinting, see http://www.coastallivescan.com/Fingerprinting.html

IS-317 Instructions

Effective July 1 2016, completion of the FEMA independent study course IS-317, Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams, is a mandatory requirement to remain in the Enc/DM/SB CERT program. We also require this course to be completed by all academy students, starting with the Spring 2016 academy.

IS-317 is an overview and an excellent review of the CERT program.

The intent is that IS-317 must be completed, and evidence of completion provided, every other renewal, i.e., nominally every four years.

If you have completed IS-317 and provided evidence of completion within the 36 months prior to your renewal date (Defined here) in conjunction with a previous renewal or CERT academy, then you do not need to complete IS-317 for this renewal. Otherwise you must complete IS-317 not more than two months prior to your renewal date, and provide evidence of completion.

If you have any questions about whether IS-317 is required for your renewal, contact Arnie Lewin at the address below.

The course and its final exam can be taken online at https://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=IS-317. The course has a nominal completion time of 6 hours, although an individual’s experience may be shorter or longer. You can take the course and complete the exam at your own pace, in multiple sessions over many days, but it is recommended that you keep a browser tab open to the course at the FEMA site, and not delete cookies set by that site. Otherwise you may have to page through the course from the beginning to resume the course and take the exam.

Upon successful completion of the exam, FEMA will email you a permanent link to a pdf file that is your certificate of completion of the course. Either forward that email from FEMA, or attach the certificate pdf file to an email, to Arnie Lewin at alewin@encinitasca.gov. Alternatively, you may attach the certificate, or include the FEMA link to it, in the same email that attaches your completed DSW application form.

Hint for Mac users: Depending on your browser and settings, clicking on the link in the FEMA email may download the certificate file with file extension “.asp”. You can rename this to use the file extension “.pdf”; internally it is a valid pdf file. Then it can be opened with the built-in Preview program. You may also be able open the .asp file in your browser.

DSW card expired and no qualifying training in the past year

If your CERT DSW card has expired and you have not participated in a qualifying training session in the past 12 months, you must satisfy the training requirement before renewing. However, most training requires a valid (unexpired) CERT DSW card.

Training events that you can participate in with an expired CERT DSW card are CERT academy final drills. For relatively recent expirations, this will usually be sufficient for renewal. Some other training events may occasionally be allowed as well.

However, the CERT program manager will review all such cases on an individual basis and make a decision regarding renewal training requirements. If it has been many years since your last participation in CERT, re-completing the academy training might be required.

If you find yourself in this situation of an expired card and no qualifying training in the last year, contact Arnie Lewin at the email address above to discuss your situation and what retraining is required for renewal.

[Revised Oct 17 2016 to add renewal timeline graphic]
[Revised Feb 27 2016 to include Del Mar and Solana Beach]
[Revised Jan 27 2016 to add information on the IS-317 requirement]
[Revised May 17 2015: Reference and link to revised (Sept 2013) DSW form.]
[Revised Sept 10 2014: Added information about expired cards with no qualifying training in the past year.]