The coronavirus outbreak has financially impacted first responders and volunteers across the country very hard – especially volunteer fire departments since a chunk of annual budgets come from community fundraisers like raffles, dinners, street fairs and other public functions.
Fedhealth does ALL the work including providing and helping referrals with free customization then sends referral $$ once order is paid in full!
For example, say a Volunteer Fire Dept or CERT refers a county Health Dept or Emergency Management Agency…
County calls Fedhealth direct and orders 5,000 books customized with local plans, COVID-19 messaging, floodplain data, etc.
Cost for custom books: $ 22,500 (5,000 x $4.50 / book + free customization)
Total amount earned (15%) for Referral:$ 3,375
And, if agencies or groups cannot take cash donations, Fedhealth can purchase needed equipment or supplies or provide that value in books or ebooks that can be used however you wish.
Learn more, download a free ebook, and find some handouts to share with others at www.fedhealth.net/funding-ideas … or call 520-907-2153 so we can help fund and support YOUR organization and help our nation get better prepared for emergencies and disasters.
Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities.
The MRC network currently comprises over 180,000 volunteers in 830+ units located throughout the United States and its territories.
MRC units are community-based and function as a way to locally organize and utilize medical and non-medical volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year. MRC volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources.
About the Medical Reserve Corps
After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, many Americans asked, “What can I do to help?” Public health professionals were among those who wanted to volunteer their services, but many were not able to find a way to do so. While these professionals had applicable skills sets, they could not be deployed. This was because they were not identified, credentialed or trained in advance. So, the Medical Reserve Corps was created to build a group of people who can assist existing local public health in the event of a true public health emergency or disaster.
MRC was originally a partner program with Citizen Corps and resided under HHS’ Office of the Surgeon General. In 2015 the MRC was welcomed into HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Office of Emergency Management family. MRC also works closely with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to enhance MRC units’ ability to meet local, state, and national needs through collaboration, coordination, and capacity-building activities.
MRC units engage volunteers to strengthen public health, improve emergency response capabilities, and build community resiliency. They prepare for and respond to natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, and floods, as well as other emergencies affecting public health, such as disease outbreaks. They frequently contribute to community health activities that promote healthy habits.
Volunteers include medical and public health professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, and epidemiologists. Many community members with non-medical backgrounds—interpreters, chaplains, office workers, legal advisors, and others—can fill other key support positions.
Some examples of activities that MRC volunteers participate in and support include:
Emergency Preparedness and Response Trainings
Mass Dispensing Efforts
Health Education and Promotion
Disaster Medical Support
Outreach to Underserved Community Members
Medical Facility Surge Capacity
First Aid During Large Public Gatherings
Engaging Youth in Public Health Activities
Planning, Logistical & Administrative Support
Veterinary Support and Pet Preparedness
Learn how to volunteer or partner with your local Medical Reserve Corps and visit the MRC site to learn more about this great organization.
MRC Network Well Check Webinars
MRC Network Well Check interactive webinars provide MRC unit leaders and State Coordinators with information on a wide variety of topics, largely determined by members’ interests and needs. Through these ongoing wellness check-ups of the MRC network, members will be provided a platform to connect, share, and learn with your peers and leadership, plus some members will also be asked to serve as presenters.
Webinars are typically held on the first Tuesday of each month at 2p ET and run about 60 minutes long primarily focusing on a specified topic. Many include a Q & A period and highlights from the field, as well.
Many MRC units use customized It’s A Disaster books
Since Medical Reserve Corps’ creation in 2002 many Health Departments and MRCs (+ EMs, CERTs, etc.) have purchased our 266-page preparedness and first aid manuals customized both in the print process and using standard red books with stickers for volunteers, events and local communities.
Our IT’S A DISASTER! bulk price is only $4.50 U.S. each delivered (70% off list on 10 or more copies) … and we can customize them for free to include data about your MRC unit, how to become a volunteer, public health information and more. And our book qualifies as community education on most grants providing about a $4-to-$1 return that can be used on matching grant programs.
Download a free portion of our book in PDF and learn how to order paperbacks (or ebooks) at www.fedhealth.net or call 520.907.2153.
CoCoRaHS (pronounced KO-ko-rozz) is an acronym for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and SnowNetwork.
CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow).
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are major sponsors of CoCoRaHS. Other organizations have contributed either financially, and/or with supplies and equipment.
By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive website and apps, the aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications.
Why is there so much interest in rain, hail and snow?
Precipitation is essential for life. It varies greatly with topography, storm type and season. It really is true that it may pour on one side of the street and be dry on the other. A portion of a field may be pounded by hail while others nearby receive no damage. Snowfall may pile up in one neighborhood and only dust another. Rain, hail and snow are fairly easy to measure, and the data collected are very important.
Who uses CoCoRaHS?
CoCoRaHS is used by a wide variety of organizations and individuals. The National Weather Service, other meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, city utilities (water supply, water conservation, storm water), insurance adjusters, USDA, engineers, mosquito control, ranchers and farmers, outdoor & recreation interests, teachers, students, and neighbors in the community are just some examples of those who visit their Web site and use the data.
What does a volunteer observer do?
Each time a rain, hail or snow storm crosses your area, volunteers take measurements of precipitation from as many locations as possible. These precipitation reports are then recorded online at www.cocorahs.org or through CoCoRaHS’ app.
The data are then displayed and organized for many of their end users to analyze and apply to daily situations ranging from water resource analysis and severe storm warnings to neighbors comparing how much rain fell in their backyards.
It’s easy to join, takes only five minutes a day and is a fun way to learn about weather.
People of all ages can help. The only requirements are an enthusiasm for watching and reporting weather conditions and a desire to learn more about how weather can affect and impact our lives.
Complimentary training is provided to help you become an effective weather observer. Check out your state page for a list of current training sessions in your local area. If none are taking place at the current time, CoCoRaHS has online and PDF Training Slideshows.
Can schools participate?
Absolutely! A great benefit of CoCoRaHS is that it provides real science activities for the classroom in public, private, and home schools. Over the last several years CoCoRaHS staff has worked with science teachers to develop a series of lesson plans and activities. These lesson plans are available for a variety of grade levels and are built around CoCoRaHS’s emphasis on measuring precipitation.
Watch and share below short CoCoRaHS for Schools video…
CoCoRaHS also has lesson plans and activities developed for the 4-H Program that are aligned with National Science Education Standards (NSES) for grades K-4, 5-8 and 9-12. Visit CoCoRaHS for Schools to learn how your school or program can join.
Help spread the word
Please take a moment to share this post and tell a friend or neighbor about CoCoRaHS exciting grassroots effort of citizens measuring precipitation in their own backyards. Again, it’s easy to join, takes only 5 minutes a day and your observations give scientists an ever clearer picture of where and how much precipitation falls throughout our communities.
Hurricane Harvey will have a lasting impact on the Gulf coasts of Texas and Louisiana. And the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) members will be there providing relief and recovery for years to come, and they will need your assistance.
The single best way individuals and businesses can help disaster survivors is to donate money to a recognized voluntary organization.
Cash doesn’t need to be sorted, stored or distributed, and it allows the voluntary agency to use the donation towards the needs that most urgently need addressing. The funds can also help stimulate the local economy.
For over 44 years, National VOAD’s 100 member organizations have been helping communities worldwide.
A dramatic decline in the number of volunteer firefighters, particularly young ones, threatens the ability of small departments to provide an essential public service.
Most people may not think this potential crisis impacts them, however almost 70% of firefighters across the nation are volunteers.
And it’s not just about fighting fires since most calls are for emergency medical services.
For the first time in 28 years, the majority of volunteer firefighters in the U.S. are over the age of 50, according to a firefighter profile released in November by the National Fire Protection Association. And while the number of on-call firefighters is decreasing, the demand for fire and rescue services is increasing.
Some Volunteer Fire Service statistics
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) says in 2013 there were an estimated 30,052 U.S. fire departments and 19,807 of them were all volunteer.
Volunteers comprise 69% of firefighters in the United States. Of the total estimated 1,140,750 volunteer and paid firefighters across the country, 786,150 are volunteer.
Communities served by volunteer firefighters depend on them to be their first line of defense for many types of emergencies. Volunteer firefighters are summoned to a wide array of emergencies across the country every day including fires, emergency medical incidents, terrorist events, natural disasters, hazardous materials incidents, water rescue emergencies, high-angle and confined space emergencies, and other general public service calls. The public relies on the volunteer emergency services to be their first line of defense in these emergencies. Volunteers spend an enormous amount of time training to prepare for these emergencies.
Small and mid-sized communities rely heavily on volunteer firefighters. Small communities (populations under 10,000) across the U.S. are typically protected by all volunteer departments. In some cases, however, these communities have hired a few paid firefighters to assist. Mid-sized communities (populations above 10,000) are typically served by combination volunteer and paid departments. Large communities (populations over 100,000) are most often protected by combination volunteer and paid departments that consist of primarily paid staff. There are few strictly paid fire departments in the U.S., but those that exist are primarily found in very urban areas.
The Citizen-Times.com writes in 1980, a firefighter needed only 36 hours of training. Today that number has grown to 250 hours to obtain firefighter certification. Earning the certification can take up to a year for someone working a regular job and taking the training in the evenings.
Because fire departments have expanded the scope of their duties to include answering emergency medical calls, many firefighters also are emergency medical technicians, which requires another 100 to 250+ hours of training.
As Mount Pleasant Fire Department Chief Larry McRae recently explained at a County Commissioners meeting, “We require them to attend numerous hours of training. We look for people to be willing to go into a structure fire or approach a burning vehicle to save someone’s life. We ask them to expose themselves to contagious disease, use their personal vehicles, pay for their costs to replace their clothing, be available to respond at any time day or night, seven days a week in any kind of weather and under potentially stressful and life-threatening circumstances.”
“And we are asking them to do this for no pay,” McRae said. “And then we ask them to work at their volunteer fire department fundraisers.”
NVFC states volunteers typically contribute 20 to 100 hours per month or more.
McRae said without volunteers, the fire departments in the county can’t offer the fire and rescue protection to residents they are commissioned to offer. Aside from the safety repercussions, insurance service office ratings can cause home insurance rates for homeowners to go up several hundred dollars a year in communities without a fire department or volunteer fire department.
Creative recruitment ideas & tools
Below are some creative recruitment ideas, resources and vids to share with family, friends, co-workers, local officials, schools and youth groups. If you can contribute your time and energy, please consider becoming a volunteer or at least talk to your local Fire Department to see if there are ways to support them operationally and/or financially.
And speaking of financial assistance… please share our programs associated with our customizable IT’S A DISASTER! preparedness and first aid manual since ideas can help fund and support volunteers, agencies and others. Visit www.fedhealth.net or call Fedhealth at 520.907.2153.
Maine Pension Program: Maine State Federation of Firefighters is working hard to try and recruit more volunteer firefighters, and to promote state legislation that aims to support the firefighters. L.D. 164, An Act To Establish the Maine Length of Service Award Program, would create the framework for a statewide pension-type program under which volunteers such as firefighters or emergency medical service providers eventually would receive a pension. The bill would pay for the program through a tax on consumer fireworks writes Bangor Daily News.
The SERVE Act: This bill, introduced in 2013 and one of the National Volunteer Fire Council’s legislative priorities, is designed to help local volunteer emergency services agencies recruit and retain personnel. It would provide a $1000 tax credit to volunteer firefighters and volunteer emergency workers. Two other bills (Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Reauthorization Act (VRIPRA) and Volunteer Emergency Responders Tax Deduction Act) are also up for a vote in Congress. Read more at WBNG.com and IAFC.org
WHHC free room & board: A volunteer fire department in Lycoming County Ohio is looking for recruits and has something that could entice young firefighters writes WNEP.com. The Willing Hand Hose Company offers free room and board for college students who will respond to ambulance calls, fire calls, accidents and more. The fire house has been upgraded with all new amenities, including an updated kitchen, living quarters, and a TV room. Not only are the live-ins getting free room and board but they are also getting professional training which would cost them thousands to do on their own.
Fire Corps: The NVFC has also been instrumental in the launch of Fire Corps, a national initiative to recruit community members into local fire and EMS departments to perform non-emergency roles. This allows department members to focus on training and emergency response while at the same time increasing the services and programs the department can offer. Fire Corps is a component of the DHS’s Citizen Corps initiative and is administered on a national level by the NVFC. For more information, visit www.firecorps.org .
1-800-FIRE-LINE: In addition, the NVFC administers the 1-800-FIRE-LINE national recruitment campaign in an effort to boost the ranks in the volunteer fire service both operationally and non-operationally. Community members can call the toll-free 1-800-FIRE-LINE number from anywhere in the country to learn about the firefighter, EMS, and Fire Corps opportunities in their community. The campaign also includes resources for fire departments and state fire associations to implement and market the campaign. Learn more at www.1800fireline.org.
NVFC Retention and Recruitment tools: The National Volunteer Fire Council has many helpful resources, Best Practices, videos and PSAs and other tools on their Retention and Recruitment section. Also learn more about other NVFC programs and services at www.nvfc.org or call 1-888-ASK-NVFC.
National Junior Firefighter Program Recruitment Video: Junior firefighter program advisors and department leaders can use this short video, which features juniors participating and explaining their interest in junior firefighting and their plans for their future, to recruit youth for their program at the local level. The video can be downloaded and taken to schools, community organizations, or department open houses to educate youth and adults about the benefit of junior firefighter programs.
Why I Chose Fire: Next Generation Volunteer Video: This 9-minute video features inspirational interviews with diverse first responders about why they love volunteering and what inspired them to get involved in the fire/EMS services. The videos articulate what potential volunteer firefighters need to know to be successful today and in the future. Click here to download a free copy of Why I Chose Fire: Next Generation from the Fire 20/20 web site, and learn how to get a customized version for your department or organization.
September is National Preparedness Month(NPM or #NatlPrep) and we – along with a coalition of thousands of private, public and nonprofit organizations – are encouraging businesses, groups, schools and families to take time to help your community get better prepared for disasters and emergencies of all kinds.
Below are some creative projects and ideas that other organizations are doing (or have done) in case these could benefit your preparedness campaigns.
A key goal is to come up with fun and educational ways to get kids and adults involved..!
Some examples of NPM activities
During National Preparedness Month FEMA and Ready organizers are asking Americans to take action by planning a National PrepareAthon! Day on or around September 30th. America’s PrepareAthon! encourages millions of people to focus on simple, specific activities like hazard-specific drills, group discussions, and exercises that will increase preparedness.
Join the America’s PrepareAthon! campaign and register to participate in the September 30 national day of action. Once you register you have access to guides, social media tools, and customizable materials you can use during drills or exercises on 9/30 and year-round. The key is turning knowing into doing!
This is the 5th year of the 30 Days, 30 Ways Preparedness Challenge, in honor of National Preparedness Month. This game has grown exponentially over 4 years with over 10,000 preparedness tasks being completed. In the past, CRESA have relied on community donated prizes which have come in all shapes & sizes. This year, organizers want to reward players with $10-25 Amazon Gift Cards which are easier to share across the globe and don’t require shipping costs to their agency.
Entries are no longer being accepted for the APHA’s Get Ready Tips from Tots Photo contest but they will be announcing the winners in September, so stay tuned for some baby cuteness. Winners will be featured in a Get Ready calendar. Visit APHA’s baby photo gallery
The Emergency Kit Cook-Off challenges you to find creative use for the three day’s worth of food and potable water that you squirreled away for the family in case of an emergency. The Emergency Kit Cook-Off offers the public two ways to participate—1) vote on ingredients and 2) submit a recipe.
Another way to support your community is to join a local Citizen Corps , CERT or Medical Reserve Corps … or call your city or county Emergency Management, Fire, Police, Health or Sheriff Department and ask about volunteer opportunities. Or talk to your local Salvation Army or Red Cross office … and get involved!
Learn more about National Preparedness Month at www.ready.gov/september and encourage your families, friends, co-workers and communities to take action to prepare!