Citizen Corps seeks volunteers

Published 9:07 pm Thursday, October 14, 2010

Imagine this: You’re at home with your family. Severe weather sweeps through Pike County: perhaps a tornado, or the remanants of a hurricane driving up from the Gulf Coast.

The power is out. Trees are down. You have no way to communicate or travel. Your child is injured. You need help, but you can’t reach emergency services. And they can’t reach you.

What will you do?

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Under EMA Director Jeanna Barnes vision, help will reach you … in the form of trained and prepared neighbors.

Barnes has been working to establish Citizen Corps teams throughout Pike County – highly trained and equipped response teams of everyday citizens who volunteer to respond to their community, their neighbors, in times of emergency.

These teams, generally comprised of about 10 people, are trained in the basics of emergency response: search and rescue; fire supression; first aid; communication and organization; and more.

The vision is an important one: by creating these teams throughout the county, we can strategically position trained volunteers to respond in times of emergency. These Citizen Corps teams can provide support and response, perhaps more quickly than first responders in the case of a major event, weather or otherwise, because of their locations throughout the county and their proximity to their neighbors.

They can become a literal applicaiton of the “neighbors helping neighbors” adage we all learned as children.

To make these Citizen Corps teams effective, the EMA needs our help. We need to volunteer, our time and our willingness. By volunteering to be trained, to be a Citizen Corps member, we are agreeing to stand ready to assist if, and when, we are needed.

If you are willing to help, or simply want to learn more about the Citizen Corps program, please contact the EMA office at 566-8272.