To Qualify

Qualifying individuals must be a state, local, tribal, or territorial first responder and receive approval to attend from both their supervisor and State Administrative Agency (SAA). Follow the steps below to apply for training.

Step 1: Applying

You will need the following to complete your application:

Apply by either clicking on desired course link below; or, by scrolling through the calendar at the bottom of this page and selecting a class date to apply for.

In the application, you will be able to select your first and second choices for your class dates.

Step 2

Once the application is submitted, you will receive a SERTC application email from register@aar.com with further instructions.

Due to updated and expanded spam filters, please add register@aar.com to your contacts to avoid email issues. This will ensure that all emails between our system and your email providers will not be blocked or rejected. If you do NOT see a same day email from us, please send email to sertc@aar.com or call (719) 584-0584.

Step 3

Print the application to sign it, or electronically sign the application, forward to your supervisor for an approval signature, and then forward to your SAA for approval. Your SAA’s email information was entered during the application process and is printed on your application for you to easily reference. It is your responsibility to follow up with your SAA to confirm their receipt of your application and that it has been approved and emailed to SERTC for review. Note: Approved applications do not guarantee or register you in a training course.

Step 4

Once the application has been received by SERTC directly from the SAA, SERTC Administration will register you based on a first come first served basis, depending upon seating availability. SERTC will do its best to register you in your first choice class preference.

Step 5

Once registered, you will receive a registration confirmation email with tasks and details for your course.

View Courses Calendar


If you have not received any correspondence from either your SAA or directly from SERTC:

  • Be sure that you printed your emailed application, obtained your supervisor’s signature, you signed the application as well, and emailed your completed application to your SAA.
  • Contact your SAA to confirm receipt of your application. Confirm that they approved your application and emailed it to SERTC Administration at sertc@aar.com.
  • Contact SERTC Administration at (719) 584-0584 to confirm that we have received your application. We can then discuss your individual situation.

One application per course is required. Completed and approved applications are valid for two years from the day SERTC receives the application directly from your SAA.

Reimbursement checks can take up to a maximum of six weeks to be returned to you, from the date SERTC Administration receives your completed form. Please ensure that you have submitted your reimbursement form and contact SERTC Administration to confirm our receipt of your documents. If you have not received your reimbursement within six weeks from the time it arrived in our office, please contact us at (719) 584-0584.

The FEMA Student Identification (SID) number is a unique individual number generated and assigned to participants who need or are required to take training provided by a FEMA organization. The SID uniquely identifies you throughout the FEMA organization and all of its agencies. The goal is for your FEMA SID to serve as your personal identification number instead of your Social Security Number (SSN) in support of FEMA’s effort to decrease/cease the use of SSN for identifying and tracking individuals. Visit www.cdp.dhs.gov/femasid to learn more about the FEMA SID number, why you need one, and how to apply for one.

Qualifying individuals must be a state, local, tribal, or territorial first responder. First responders that work voluntarily with a local or state fire department also qualify. Availability of funding is contingent upon completion of an application by a qualified first responder, and receiving both their supervisor and State Administrative Agency’s (SAA) authorization.

Federal employees are not eligible to apply; however, may attend training using their own funding through Open Enrollment / Self-Pay.

SERTC currently offers seven residential, and four mobile, DHS/FEMA-certified courses. These courses are identified with the DHS/FEMA logo on our courses page.

Residential courses conducted onsite at the SERTC training facility:

  1. PER-290 Tank Car Specialist (TCS), 5 days/40 hours
  2. PER-291 Highway Emergency Response Specialist (HERS), 5 days/40 hours
  3. PER-292 Leadership and Management of Surface transportation Incidents (LMSTI), 5 days/40 hours
  4. PER-293 HazMat/WMD Technician for Surface Transportation (HWMDTST), 10 days/80 hours
  5. PER-327 Crude Oil/Class 3 Flammable Liquid Emergencies Transported by Rail (FLE-RR), 3 days/24 hours

Mobile Courses scheduled and conducted at your facility:

  1. AWR-290 Railroad Safety Awareness (RSA), 1 day/4 hours
  2. PER-326 Surface Transportation Emergency Preparedness and Security – Freight (STEPS-FR), 2 days/16 hours
  3. PER-330 Surface Transportation Emergency Preparedness and Security – Mass Transit & Passenger Rail (STEPS-PT), 2 days/16 hours
  4. PER-331 Surface Transportation Emergency Preparedness and Security – Senior Officials (STEPS-SR), 1 day/4 hours