Our goal is to promote preparedness through education, activities and community outreach to make Frederick County safer, stronger, more secure and better able to respond to emergency and disaster situations.
Following the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, state and local government officials have increased opportunities for citizens to become an integral part of protecting the homeland and supporting the local first responders.
Officials agree that the formula for ensuring a more secure and safer homeland consists of preparedness, training, and citizen involvement in supporting first responders. In January 2002, President George W. Bush launched USA Freedom Corps, to capture the spirit of service that has emerged throughout our communities following the terrorist attacks.
Coordinating Volunteer Activities
Citizen Corps, a vital component of USA Freedom Corps, was created to help coordinate volunteer activities that will make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation.
It provides opportunities for people to participate in a range of measures to make their families, their homes, and their communities safer from the threats of crime, terrorism, and disasters of all kinds.
Building on Successful Efforts
Programs build on the successful efforts that are in place in many communities around the country to prevent crime and respond to emergencies.
Programs that started through local innovation are the foundation for Citizen Corps and this national approach to citizen participation in community safety.
Coordinating Citizen Corps
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) coordinates Citizen Corps nationally. In this capacity, DHS works closely with other federal entities, state and local governments, first responders and emergency managers, the volunteer community, and the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps.
Information and materials on how to help your family and your community be safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to disasters of any kind, how citizens can help protect the homeland, and how you can volunteer in your area.
The Fire Corps Program is a nationwide effort to bring citizens into local fire and emergency service departments to assist in non-operational roles, allowing firefighters and emergency medical responders to focus on critical, life-threatening situations.
Medical Reserve Corps
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Program coordinates the skills of practicing and retired physicians, nurses and other health professionals as well as other citizens interested in health issues, who are eager to volunteer to address their community's ongoing public health needs and to help their community during large scale emergency situations.
Local community leaders will develop their own Medical Reserve Corps Units and identify the duties of the MRC volunteers according to specific community needs. For example, MRC volunteers may deliver necessary public health services during a crisis, assist emergency response teams with patients, and provide care directly to those with less serious injuries and other health-related issues. MRC volunteers may also serve a vital role by assisting their communities with ongoing public health needs (e.g., immunizations, screenings, health and nutrition education, and volunteering in community health centers and local hospitals). Once established, how the local MRC Unit is utilized will be decided locally. The MRC unit will make decisions, with local officials, including the local Citizen Corps Council, on when the community Medical Reserve Corps is activated during a local emergency. For more information, including the booklet Medical Reserve Corps - A Guide for Local Leaders, visit the Medical Reserve Corps homepage.
Neighborhood Watch is 1 of the oldest and best-known crime prevention concepts in North America. In the late 1960s, an increase in crime heightened the need for a crime prevention initiative focused on residential areas and involving local citizens. The National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) responded, creating the National Neighborhood Watch Program in 1972 to assist citizens and law enforcement
In 2002, the NSA in partnership with USA Freedom Corps, Citizen Corps and the U.S. Department of Justice launched USAonWatch, the face of the revitalized Neighborhood Watch Initiative, which represents the expanded role of watch programs throughout the United States. USAonWatch empowers citizens to become active in homeland security efforts through participation in Neighborhood Watch groups. Many neighborhoods already have established watch groups that are vibrant, effective, and can take on this expanded role with ease. For neighborhoods without thriving groups, the renewed emphasis on emergency preparedness and response may provide the right incentive for citizens to participate in Neighborhood Watch in their community. To learn more, visit http://www.nnw.org/ and browse the site.
Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS)
The VIPS Program provides support and resources for agencies interested in developing or enhancing a volunteer program and for citizens who wish to volunteer their time and skills with a law enforcement agency. The program's ultimate goal is to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement to utilize volunteers. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) manages the VIPS Program in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
The foundation of VIPS is the website www.Policevolunteers.org, which serves as a gateway to information for law enforcement agencies and citizens interested in law enforcement volunteer programs.
This website offers:
Learn more by visiting the Volunteers in Police Service homepage
You can take simple steps to be prepared for emergencies, get training in basic first aid, and volunteer to help local emergency responders. Here are some ways you can get involved through your local Citizen Corps Council: