Qualifications & Pre-Requisites for Becoming an ALERT Volunteer

Training, Certification and Re-Certification Requirements

  • Where is the ALERT training conducted?

    Most initial training classes are conducted at the

    SFPD Police Academy
    350 Amber Drive
    San Francisco, CA 94131

  • What does the basic ALERT training consist of?

    The basic ALERT training program consists of 8 hours of classroom and practical exercises at the SFPD Police Academy location. The training is taught in English, is very low impact and is suitable for everyone. It will include approximately 7 hours of classroom time and one hour of outdoor activity.

  • What are the re-certification requirements for ALERT volunteers?

    ALERT volunteers are required to attend at least ONE ALERT training drill per calendar year to remain on the active deployment (eligible) roster. A volunteer missing all quarterly training drills for two consecutive years will be required to attend a new member 8-hour training class in order to regain certification.

  • What do the ALERT re-certification drills consist of?

    The drills will consist of various practical and classroom exercises to expand upon, reinforce and solidify the training and techniques taught during your initial certification. The drills also offer an opportunity for new skills and procedures to be introduced to volunteers as new requirements become necessary.

  • How long is each ALERT re-certification drill?

    The drills will vary in duration but typically will be around 4-5 hours. The drill duration will be announced well ahead of the drill date to allow you to add the drill into your schedule. Attendance for the entire drill duration will be required in order to re-certify in that drill.

Deployment, Role and Function of ALERT Volunteers

  • Where do I report to during a disaster if ALERT volunteers are activated?

    ALERT has two principal assembly and deployment locations for volunteers during a disaster activation. If you are WEST of Twin Peaks, make your way to:

    Taraval Police Station
    2345 24th Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94116

    If you are EAST of Twin Peaks, make your way to:

    Special Operations Bureau
    17th St & De Haro Street
    San Francisco, CA 94103

  • How will I know if ALERT volunteers are being activated?

    The ALERT program will contact you by e-mail, text or voice-mail if any of these communications methods are available following a disaster. Alternatively, Emergency Broadcasts by radio stations will announce the activation of civilian volunteer Disaster Service Workers and may specifically mention ALERT volunteers.

  • Once I’m certified as an ALERT volunteer, what happens next?

    You will be eligible to participate in our regular ALERT Drills as well as other training opportunities and multi-agency exercises. You can also take on supporting roles for ALERT by attending community events and meetings to promote ALERT and encourage new volunteers to join. Depending on your level of involvement with the ALERT program (and other factors), you may also be asked to consider becoming an ALERT Team Lead, where you would guide a group of ALERT volunteers in the successful performance of an assigned task or tasks. Should a disaster occur, and ALERT be activated, then you would report to one of the two assembly areas for assignment and deployment.

  • I am required to respond as a DSW as part of my employment obligations. Does it make sense to participate in ALERT if I won’t be able to respond with you during a disaster?

    Absolutely. ALERT is significantly involved in pre-disaster planning, preparation and educational outreach. Your involvement and support of these efforts, your participation in our drills, and the knowledge you bring from your employment disaster response obligations are extremely valuable and you will have many opportunities to contribute in other ALERT functions beyond disaster response throughout the year.

  • If I report to one of the ALERT assembly / deployment locations during a disaster response, what kinds of tasks might I be assigned?

    You could be assigned to an administrative position at the Command Post (calling in all Police Reserves, signing-in volunteers, assisting with information in-take), or work closely with full-time and/or Reserve Police Officers who are deployed for traffic control, foot patrol of business and residential areas, report criminal activity, looting and property damage observation, work in partnership with other emergency organizations, assist with medical aid, deliver logistical supplies, secure resource locations, direct individuals to mass casualty and shelter locations, or assist at reunification centers.

San Francisco Police Department

Safety with Respect for All.