Emergency exercise will test skills of newly formed Neighborhood Corps
(Washington, DC) On August 28, 2004, DC Citizen Corps, a program of Serve DC, will participate in a full scale functional exercise involving more than 200 trained volunteers. Doors will open at 9:30 am and the exercise will be from 10 am to 2 pm. This exercise is being sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Domestic Preparedness, as part of that organization's commitment to providing opportunities to create trained communities.
The exercise is being hosted in partnership by Neighborhood Corps, a program of DC Citizen Corps, and DC Fire and EMS. Neighborhood Corps provides a structure for trained emergency volunteers to mobilize and respond to emergencies at the neighborhood level. Drawing on their combined knowledge and diverse skill sets, emergency volunteers from DC Citizen Corps programs work together to form individual Neighborhood Corps in their communities. In addition to providing emergency assistance, Neighborhood Corps members also help educate their families and neighbors about emergency preparedness and planning.
This exercise, scheduled to take place at the District of Columbia's Fire Academy complex, will enhance DC Citizen Corps' ability to operate effectively and safely in an emergency environment. The functional exercise will provide an opportunity for volunteers to practice and test their emergency plans, procedures, and communications protocols in a simulated emergency environment. It will also provide citizens with an opportunity to test the Neighborhood Corps Pocket Guide, developed with feedback from the upcoming Neighborhood Corps Forum, for the first time.
DC Citizen Corps trained volunteers will interact in disaster simulations with DC first responders, such as fire departments, police departments, emergency medical personnel, and other volunteer organizations. The collaborative effort will result in a better understanding of exactly how these agencies interact in an emergency and what capabilities each one offers.
"The District of Columbia recognizes the great contributions trained citizen volunteers can offer professional response agencies when faced with disaster," said Jerome A. DuVal, Interim Executive Director of Serve DC. "These trained volunteers are the core of their community."
Contact Kristin Yochum at (202) 727-8006 for further information.
About Serve DC
The mission of Serve DC is to strengthen and promote the District of Columbia's spirit of service through partnerships, national service and volunteerism. Housed in the Executive Office of the Mayor, Serve DC accomplishes its mission by enhancing the education of the community's youth, improving citizen safety and neighborhood emergency preparedness, and strengthening the community through service. Specifically, the office administers programs such as Citizen Corps, AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve, DC Youth Advisory Council, The Early Chapters, the Mayor's Community Service Award and National Youth Service Day.