E-update: April 16, 2007

E-update: April 16, 2007

Welcome to the Fire Corps E-Update. Fire Corps is a locally-driven Citizen Corps program that allows community members to offer their time and talents to their local fire and EMS departments in non-operational roles. Fire Corps serves as a gateway to information for and about fire and EMS department programs and meets a citizen’s desire to serve as well as a department’s need for support.

In this issue:

  1. Celebrate Volunteerism This Week During National Volunteer Week
  2. Focus on EMS During National EMS Week, May 20-26
  3. Assistance to Firefighters Grants Application Period Open through May 4
  4. Visit Fire Corps at FDIC April 19-21
  5. Update Your Fire Corps Profile
  6. 2007 National Conference on Community Preparedness: Partnerships and Collaboration through Citizen Corps, June 10-13
  7. Department Profile: Beachton Volunteer Fire Corps
  8. Calendar of Events

Celebrate Volunteerism This Week During National Volunteer Week

In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 15-21), Fire Corps would like to thank all the volunteers who Inspire by Example by offering their time and talents to support the fire and emergency services through their participation in Fire Corps programs. To date, nearly 9,100 Fire Corps members engaged in over 600 programs nationwide donate their time to assist their departments in the non-emergency tasks, helping to keep our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared.

Throughout the week, Fire Corps will be posting tips online at wordpress-117188-338720.cloudwaysapps.com. These tips are designed to provide ideas on ways Fire Corps members can support their departments and communities, including conducting smoke alarm installations and checks in the community, educating the community on preventing and preparing for Pandemic Influenza, conducting fire prevention and life safety education programs, as well as ways to honor and acknowledge Fire Corps volunteers throughout the year.

Fire Corps programs can take this opportunity to honor their Fire Corps members by becoming a Certifying Organization of the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Being a Certifying Organization enables a department to nominate its Fire Corps program or individual Fire Corps volunteers to be nationally recognized and rewarded for the commitment and service they have shown to the department and community. This award recognizes individuals, families, and groups that have achieved a certain standard – measured by the number of hours volunteered over a 12-month period or cumulative hours volunteered over the course of a lifetime.

Sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation, National Volunteer Week began in 1974, when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration of volunteering. Since then, every U.S. President has signed a proclamation promoting National Volunteer Week.

The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network engages and mobilizes millions of volunteers who are helping to solve serious social problems in thousands of communities. The Foundation advocates community service through a partnership with the Volunteer Center National Network. Together, they reach millions of people in thousands of communities to help mobilize people and resources, which deliver solutions that address community problems. For more information about the Points of Light Foundation, Volunteer Center National Network, and National Volunteer Week, visit www.pointsoflight.org.

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Focus on EMS During National EMS Week, May 20-26

National EMS Week will be celebrated across the nation on May 20-26. This event brings together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services on the medical front line. Hundreds of grassroots activities coast-to-coast are being planned around this year’s theme, “Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Service.”

Fire Corps programs can participate in National EMS Week through a variety of activities, from recognizing outstanding EMS personnel in their department by profiling them on their department’s web site, to assisting department personnel and EMS providers with life safety education by utilizing the Home Safety Council’s Always Fire Safe at Home module. This module contains all of the materials necessary to implement a comprehensive fire and life safety public education program at the local level. It can be ordered free-of-charge from the Fire Corps national office at 1-888-FC-INFO1 (324-6361) or info@firecorps.org.

Organized by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and supported by a network of partner organizations including the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), EMS Week includes national and local activities to honor EMS providers and raise public awareness about health and safety issues, including how to prevent injuries and what to do in a medical emergency.

“As this year’s theme emphasizes, EMS providers are dedicated to saving lives, even putting their own lives on hold as they respond to medical emergencies,” said Dr. Brian Keaton, president of ACEP. “They do this every day without special recognition, which is why we are recognizing EMS providers this year as extraordinary.”

For more information, or to obtain a National EMS Week Planning Kit, visit www.acep.org/emsweek.

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Assistance to Firefighters Grant Application Period Open through May 4

Applications are now being accepted for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. The deadline for applications is May 4 at 5 pm EDT. Grants totaling approximately $492.3 million will be awarded in fiscal year (FY) 2007.

Many Fire Corps programs across the nation assist their departments through fundraising or grant writing. Fire Corps volunteers can continue to show their department support by assisting with the application process for AFG, which was created to enhance departments’ abilities to protect their communities and themselves in times of emergencies.

The primary goal of the AFG program is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical services organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. The National Preparedness Directorate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the grants in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).

For more information on the AFG program or to access the online application, visit http://www.firegrantsupport.com/afg.

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Visit Fire Corps at FDIC April 19-21

Are you attending the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, IN, April 19-21? Then visit Fire Corps at booth # 142 and attend the Fire Corps session on Friday, April 20 from 10:30 am to 12:15 pm in Room116-117 to learn how to increase your department’s capacity by reaching out to the community. Fire Corps connects fire and EMS departments with community members who volunteer to perform non-emergency functions, such as administration, maintenance, fire and life safety education, and rehabilitation/canteen services. Hundreds of departments across the nation are taking advantage of this program, allowing department members more time to focus on training and emergency response. In return, citizens are able to give back to their community while increasing their abilities to better handle their own emergencies and those of their neighbor. Find out more at Booth # 142 and the Fire Corps session or visit wordpress-117188-338720.cloudwaysapps.com.

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Update Your Fire Corps Profile

Has your Fire Corps program grown?Have you added volunteer opportunities, activities, or developed new Fire Corps materials that other departments could benefit from?If so, please go to wordpress-117188-338720.cloudwaysapps.com to update your department profile. Remember, potential volunteers visit the Fire Corps web site to look for opportunities in their area, departments look to see what others are doing, and the Fire Corps national office uses this information to develop success stories and gather statistics for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Citizen Corps, and the White House. Update your program information today.

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2007 National Conference on Community Preparedness: Partnerships and Collaboration through Citizen Corps, June 10-13

FEMA Director R. David Paulison to Provide Keynote Address

Early registration for the 2007 National Conference on Community Preparedness is available until April 30. The conference will be held June 10-13 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, in Alexandria, VA.

Participants at the conference will be able to:

  • Share best practices on community preparedness
  • Get suggestions on how to reach out to specific population segments
  • Learn innovative approaches to funding
  • Hear updates on Department of Homeland Security initiatives
  • Network with other Citizen Corps partners
  • Find out how others are addressing liability issues
  • Hear ideas on engaging elected officials
  • Listen to findings from citizen preparedness research
  • And much, much more

The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) are co-hosting the conference, which is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Homeland Security. The conference is open to all who are interested in making their communities safer, stronger, and better prepared for all types of hazards.

For more information, visit www.iaem.com/NCCC2007.htm.

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Department Profile: Beachton Volunteer

Fire Corps Since registering with Fire Corps in November 2006, the Beachton Volunteer Fire Corps (BVFC) has developed a model program, assisting the Beachton Volunteer Fire Department and the entire community by performing a variety of innovative activities. Located in Cairo, GA, BVFC members help the department with administrative duties, bookkeeping, incident report/data management, life safety education, and much more.

BVFC was there to offer assistance following a deadly tornado in March. The tornado killed six people, including a child, when it hit a neighborhood in Baker County, GA. The area was left decimated, leaving mangled cars and the steel frames of motor homes in its wake. BVFC volunteers stepped up to help the Grady County Emergency Management Agency with tornado disaster relief by opening a donation center for victims.

Other efforts of the BVFC include fundraising and special projects. This Fire Corps program works to find sponsors and ink cartridge donations to support the Beachton Volunteer Fire Department Gazette, the station’s monthly newsletter. BVFC volunteers are currently hosting a Glamour Shots fundraiser that offers “everyone ages 5 to 100 a chance to be glamorous and save lives!” Proceeds from this fundraiser will go to obtain fire prevention items as well as materials to offer prevention classes in the community.

BVFC has also received support in fundraising for this event from local businesses in the community. In addition to the Glamour Shots fundraiser, the BVFC was able to gather the support of several local plantation owners who donated $750 to remodel the department’s Fire Corps meeting room and storage facility at the fire station. Deneen Harrell, the BVFC Coordinator, commented how supportive the community and local business have been. “People have been so impressed with where Beachton is heading and what we have accomplished with community awareness that they were glad to be able to help us out.”

For more information on the Beachton Volunteer Fire Corps, please contact Deneen Harrell at beachtonvfd@windstream.net. For more information on Fire Corps, visit wordpress-117188-338720.cloudwaysapps.com.

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Calendar of Events

National Volunteer Week
April 15-21

April 16-21
Indianapolis, In

Colorado Emergency Services Safety and Prevention Conference
April 25
Breckenridge, CO

State Benefits Summit
May 3-5
Reno, NV

Arson Awareness Week
May 6-12

PARADE Meeting
May 18
National Fire Academy
Emmitsburg, MD

Fire Expo 2007
May 18-20
Harrisburg, PA

National EMS Week
May 20-26

International Fire and EMS Safety Stand Down
June 17-23

NFPA World Safety Conference
June 3-7
Boston, MA

Fire, Burn & Life Safety Conference
IAFC Missouri Valley Section
June 19-22
Hutchinson, KS

Firehouse Expo
July 26-28
Baltimore, MD

Fire-Rescue International
August 23-25
Atlanta, GA

NVFC Fall Meeting
October 24-27
Providence, RI

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