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Disaster Response and UMVIM Training Classes

A minimum of 10 participants are needed to conduct a class. There is contact information for the class teacher at the bottom of the class description. Also contact the Conference Disaster Response Task Force chair Karl Ports at, who can coordinate interest from around the conference to help set class dates at the soonest convenient times.

Basic ERT

The Mission of an Early Response Team (ERT) is to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a disaster.

The team is not a “first response” group; nor is it a recovery, rebuild or repair team. It is assigned various tasks; usually relating to safety, mitigation of further damage to property, and cleanup tasks to assist the homeowner in preparation for rebuild. Always being the Caring Presence!

Specially trained “United Methodist Volunteers in Mission” (UMVIM) fulfill that task. ERT Certification requires successful completion of the Basic ERT course AND completion of the Safe Gatherings process. (We work with vulnerable individuals.) Both ERT and Safe Gatherings are valid for three years.

ERT Classes are taught by UMCOR certified instructors. The class is a FULL day – includes class time, team building, and hands on experiences to hone your skills. Your work clothing is the uniform of the day. Join this group of trained individuals extending the hands and feet of Christ to those in need.

Interested in a future class or need more information? Contact the DRTF Chair Karl Ports at or 619.823.8424.

ERT Renewal

An update class is required every three years. Generally a half day, it is designed to act as a reminder and review of the learnings of the Basic ERT Class, introduce changes that may have occurred in policy, procedures or techniques. It emphasizes safety, safety, safety and BEING the Caring Presence. Safe Gatherings is also required for re-certification. Some elect to retake the Basic Course.

Interested in a future class or need more information? Contact the DRTF Chair Karl Ports at or 619.823.8424.

ERT Leader (1/2 day class)
You’re ERT certified, you’ve been on a mission or two – you say to yourself, “I want to take a team.” Then it’s time to take ERT200TL – Team Leader Training Course along with portions of the UMVIM Leader Course. You’ll be lead through the “nuts & bolts,” forms, policies & procedures of team leadership. Everything from project selection, team development, money, travel, insurance, spiritual leadership, more and more – all to bring you and your team safely home following a successful mission trip.

Interested in a future class or need further information? Contact the DRTF Chair Karl Ports at or 619.823.8424.

UMVIM Team Leader

This class covers the process of forming and sending out a team on a national or international mission trip. Effective Christian service is achieved through training team leaders on how to equip themselves and their team to make the most of their mission journey. Many host conferences request that team leaders be UMVIM trained. The class is 4 hours long and cost $40 which includes the UMVIM Team Leader Handbook, a copy of the PowerPoint presentation, and various resources. The Cal-Pac Safe Sanctuary online training program Ministry Safe is required for team leaders and it includes a background check.

If you are interested in a future Team Leader Training class or need more information, contact the Conference UM Volunteers in Mission Coordinator Susan Hariss at

Ministry Safe

The Cal-Pac Conference, as of March 2022, is using Ministry Safe, an abuse awareness and prevention program provided through our Conference insurance company, for all volunteers in all aspects of ministry. For details, click here.

For more information, go to