What are the benefits of establishing a Citizen Corps?
Citizen Corps is part of the City of Lake Elsinore’s Emergency Response Plan. Trained volunteers can assist their neighborhoods in the critical hours and days following a disaster. The City’s goal is to organize and train approximately 50—100 Citizen Corps volunteers per year over a three year span, to establish a permanent Citizen Corps of 300 participants. Citizen Corps programs are also eligible for Grant funding, which will help defray the cost to equip and train volunteers as the program grows.
What leadership opportunities exist for Citizen Corps volunteers?
Citizen Corps leaders are given additional training opportunities and responsibilities to help the Citizen Corps stay connected with its volunteer base. Leaders maintain communication with neighborhood volunteers and may organize periodic neighborhood meetings to inform citizens about the role of Citizen Corps. Citizen Corps leaders attend Citizen Corps Council meetings to help with planning activities, training and outreach. Leaders may be issued City equipment such as two-way radios to facilitate communication in times of emergency.
Who is in charge of the Citizen Corps?
A community partnership—the Citizen Corps Council—will be responsible for implementing and running the program. The role of the Citizen Corps Council is: 1) managing the Citizen Corps program; 2) setting annual goals and objectives for volunteer recruitment and training; and 3) setting an annual budget for training, equipment, community promotion and outreach. The Citizen Corps Council will begin its work in January 2009. A monthly meeting schedule has not yet been established.
What is the service obligation for Citizen Corps volunteers?
There is no set term for Citizen Corps volunteers; opportunities for service through Citizen Corps are flexible. CERT training is a 20 hour commitment to receive a Certificate and personal CERT equipment backpack. Volunteers are invited to attend Citizen Corps Council meetings and recognition events, and participate in annual tabletop and mock-disaster exercises sponsored by the City. Volunteers will also have a role in community outreach to promote the Citizen Corps and CERT training opportunities for Lake Elsinore citizens.
What training is provided and is there a cost to volunteers?
There is no cost or fee for receiving training and participating as a Citizen Corps volunteer. All Citizen Corps participants are encouraged to take CERT—Community Emergency Response Training—as part of their volunteer service. CERT training enrollment is available on a first come, first served basis. Please see the accompanying training flyer for details.
How do I register as a Citizen Corps volunteer?
The City is developing a complete volunteer registration packet and volunteer procedure. This packet will be available in January 2009. We will distribute the volunteer packet to persons who have completed the enclosed volunteer interest form.
Who can participate in the Lake Elsinore Citizen Corps?
The Citizen Corps is open to citizens of Lake Elsinore and owners of businesses in the City of Lake Elsinore, who are age 18 or older.