Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Fairfax County Citizen Corps Council on National Preparedness Month

The purpose of the Fairfax County Citizen Corps Council is to harness the power of every individual through education, training and volunteer service to make communities safe, stronger and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues and disasters of all kinds. We build on community strengths and develop action plans to involve the whole community, including local businesses.

Working directly with the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, Police, and Health departments, the Council brings together first responders and other community organizations crucial to emergency preparedness and the development of volunteer opportunities and training to meet community needs. In addition, the Council serves as an official Fairfax County advisory body to promote federal and state volunteer initiatives, enhance services, facilitate the exchange of information and training, and support partnerships.

A sample of the core Citizen Corps Council volunteer programs include:

  • Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) provides support for the police department by incorporating civilian volunteers so that law enforcement professionals have more time for frontline duty.

  • Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) coordinates volunteer health professionals, as well as citizens with an interest in health issues, to assist with mass dispensing sites for vaccination or medication distribution.

  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trains people in neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools in basic disaster response skills, such as fire suppression and search and rescue, and helps them take a more active role in emergency preparedness.

  • Fire Corps volunteers are trained to perform non-operational administrative duties at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Headquarters and at volunteer fire stations.

  • Neighborhood Watch brings private citizens and law enforcement together to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. It brings to life the simple concept of neighbors watching out for neighbors. Volunteers may join an existing group or establish one in their neighborhood.

  • Affiliate organizations including the American Red Cross, Volunteer Fairfax and other first responder humanitarian agencies, provide corporate training programs which include CPR/AED, Volunteer Management and others.

Representatives from the Fairfax County Citizen Corps Council and individual programs are available to homeowners associations, businesses and other local organizations. Many of these programs can also conduct corporate training programs.
Not only is September National Preparedness Month, but it has also been proclaimed "Fairfax Prepares" Month by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. As a member of the Fairfax County community, we recommend all of you prepare in the event of an emergency. The following website provides some simple tips in getting started: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/

For additional information, including volunteer opportunities, please visit fairfaxcountycitizenscorps.org or contact Andrew Levy, Fairfax County Citizen Corps Council Chair at andrew.levy@fairfaxcounty.gov.


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  2. With September being National Preparedness Month and "Fairfax Prepares" Month, I challenge all CERT members to be better prepared.

    Yes, our CERT training has helped us become better prepared, however what steps have you taken to help other members of your family be prepared? What about neighbors? What about co-workers?

    Throughout the month of September, I will post some suggestions to share with those around you and to double check your own preparedness.

    The first is to visit and "Pass On" the Fairfax County Emergency website: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/


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