The Laguna Beach Police Department has opened registration for a Community Emergency Response Team course to start in March.

CERT is an "organized and trained group of volunteers ready to assist in case of a disaster," according to a news release.

The class begins March 19 and requires 25 hours of lessons and hands-on training. Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays starting March 19, with one Saturday drill from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m on May 3.

The program was started in 2012. . There are 75 trained CERT members in the community.

Emergency management coordinator Jordan Villwock said the goal is to "instill training into the community and the citizens of Laguna Beach on disaster response and the ability to plan better in the event of a disaster.

"In a large-scale disaster it could be hours or days before professional responders can get to some people," he said.

CERT members were in action on Monday and Tuesday as part of the "red flag fire watch," Villwock said. Team members were placed at Alta Laguna Park to warn people of the fire danger and watch the hills for suspicious activity or smoke.

Applications can be found on lagunabeachcity.net and emailed to jvillwock@lagunabeachcity.net. The forms must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on March 14.

Applicants must be a resident of Laguna Beach or work within the city limits, be at least 18 and have no felony convictions.

—Beau Nicolette