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Strengthening Ohio's Communities through Service & Volunteerism Issue No. 3 April, 2004

protect and prepare. In addition, this year the department will work to strengthen the nation's ability to save lives and restore order in an incident. Citizen Engagement. Through the expansion of its Ready campaign and Citizen Corps initiatives, the department aims to have half of the American public ­ as opposed to the current 20 percent -- take some form of preparedness action in the next year. This effort will include two new public education initiatives, Ready for Business and Ready for Schools and an increase in the number of active Citizen Corps Councils across the nation.

Department of Homeland Security Names Citizen Corps as Priority

As an active member of the State of Ohio Security Task Force, the state office for Ohio Citizen Corps receives regular updates from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Washington, D.C. It's important for us to remember that the eyes of the nation are on Ohio ­ we're leading the way for Citizen Corps in the U.S. As a leader, we should stay focused not only on our current statewide goal of forming 12 new councils and recruiting 4,000 volunteers by October, but the goals of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as well. The following passage is an excerpt from an Enewsletter sent by DHS in February. This Enewsletter outlined the department's goals to accomplish by March 1, 2005:

We will continue to pass along valuable Citizen Corps information as we receive it. "Citizens are a critical component of any endeavor to secure the homeland and I want to personally thank those who have taken that message to heart. By keeping our hometowns safer, we make our country safer." -Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge.

Database Update

Volunteer Recruitment... the Ohio Citizen Corps database, found on the Ohio Community Service Council website at is a valuable tool and resource which should be utilized in your local recruitment efforts. This resource allows you to post opportunities on the Web site; volunteers can then search, review and sign up for opportunities that interest them. The volunteer's contact information is e-mailed to your organization for you to set up an interview and place the volunteer in an

Priority #5: More Prepared Communities

Helping communities become better prepared to protect against or respond to a terrorist attack or major disaster is essential to the nation's security. Thus, five of the department's seven priorities for the next year contribute to this goal. Through improved information sharing, stronger protections of critical infrastructure, borders and ports, more targeted funds to communities that are at greater risk, and increased training and better equipment for first responders, the department is helping communities

opportunity. The value is that the only cost to you is your time to enter your organization's information and the volunteer opportunities you are looking to fill. However, the greatest benefit and value of the database to our communities is the pool of volunteers that becomes available to our emergency response organizations to mobilize in emergencies. The goal is to have a prepared and coordinated volunteer group when called to action. All Citizen Corps partners should continue to educate organizations and volunteers in your communities about this resource and take advantage of all of its benefits. For technical assistance, please contact your local Citizen Corps Council, regional Volunteer Center or David O'Reilly (Database Administrator) - david.o'[email protected]

Corps fact sheet template, and regional media contact lists and providing directions for printing the Ohio Citizen Corps poster in different formats. We will also be adding a downloadable "hard copy" registration form, Ohio Citizen Corps 101 PowerPoint presentation and a national Citizen Corps PowerPoint presentation and other useful materials to assist with your recruitment efforts. Speaking of recruitment efforts, a new idea has been suggested for an "Ohio Citizen Corps Sign-Up Day" and we would like to have your opinion. The purpose of this day would be to drive focused local events encouraging local volunteer recruitment. If you feel that this day is a good idea, when do you think would be the ideal day for this? Who would make a good partner for promotion and providing local signup sites? How could the state office best support your local efforts? Please e-mail your thoughts to Zack Bingham by April 14: [email protected]

Citizen Corps Program Update Call-to-Service Campaign Update

In order to investigate new methods for getting exposure for the public service announcements, the communications team recently met with representatives from WBNS 10TV (CBS affiliate) and Ohio News Network. We are in the primary stages of investigating a potential paid advertising campaign to provide consistent, statewide exposure for a period of four to six weeks in the summer. We will keep you updated as we evaluate the cost effectiveness of this strategy. In the meantime, please continue to contact the television stations in your area to see if the PSAs can be played more often. Please see the attached document for a list of TV stations that received the PSAs. You may also have noticed some changes to our Web site, Within the next two weeks we will be updating the Citizen

"Neighborhood Watch Shares Vision"

To usher in a new era of Neighborhood Watch, the National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) appointed a new Project Director, Eric Schultz. "First and foremost, we will build upon the success of the "MEET the Challenge"

campaign and set our focus on registering even more Watch Groups across the country

as well as updating information on pre-existing Watch Groups," explained Schultz. "By doing this, we will have a better understanding of how many programs are out there and in what communities they serve." Working hand in hand with the Justice Department on this effort, Schultz's primary objective is to foster a stronger partnership between Neighborhood Watch and the FEMA-initiated CERT program. In addition, Schultz will concentrate efforts on launching several new outreach programs in 2004. Perhaps the most crucial of these is a


program based on corporate initiatives. This is intended to promote Neighborhood Watch and Business Watch to corporate America and local businesses and to encourage them to get involved. Schultz plans to build upon existing relationships with the business world, including partnerships with such corporations as Radio Shack and Motorola. Other programs Schultz intends to introduce in 2004 include the Awards Program and Mentoring Program.

training and equipment and work within those limitations.

Goals of CERT training:

· · ·

Present citizens the facts about what to expect following a major disaster. Communicate the need for involvement in response and preparedness efforts. Train volunteers in needed life saving skills with emphasis on decision making skills, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. Organize teams so that they are an extension of first responder services offering immediate help to victims until professional services arrive.


It is VERY important that every member of a County Citizen Corps Council is registered on the database. Please make every attempt to gather this data for your Region! Although members may be professionally employed in a disaster-related field, their service on a Council is considered to be voluntary. Please remind them that the volunteer registration form is on the OCSC Web site ­ click on the Citizen Corps logo to register.


CERT volunteers do not:

· · · · Suppress large fires. Enter structures that they consider heavily damaged and dangerous (e.g., leaning or moved from foundation). Perform hazardous materials cleanup or respond to incidents involving radiological, chemical,or biological agents. Perform medical, fire, or search and rescue operations beyond their level of training. Activate or deploy unless called for in their procedures.

Our grant renewal process is dependent upon having a record of each volunteer!


Citizen Corps Program Update

"CERT-ainly a Success"

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainings have taken off in Ohio with great success. More than 2,000 Ohioans have already taken the training and many more are expected to complete it within the next several months.

CERT members are considered "Good Samaritans" and are covered under the Volunteer Protection Act. CERT volunteers do not have any authority beyond serving as Good Samaritans when helping others.

What is CERT?

The best source of help in an emergency or disaster is the paid or volunteer professional responder. However, if they are not available to address immediate life-saving needs or to protect property, CERT members can help. CERT's are not intended to replace a community's response capability, but rather, to serve as an important supplement to it. CERT members must keep their safety in mind as their first priority. CERT volunteers must know their capabilities and the limitations of their

News from the Field

Our Lead Volunteer Centers have just completed their first "Six-month Report." They provided some great insights on challenges, successes and all the hard work that our Citizen Corps Councils are doing. Here are some examples of programs and activities being done in several counties to help make communities safer, stronger and more secure:

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Hancock County: Several members of the Hancock Citizen Corps Council serve on a countywide task force coordinated by the City and County Health Departments. The task force's purpose is to design a disaster drill that will involve many entities ­ not just health departments. The task force has contracted with the University of Findlay's School of Environmental and Emergency Management to create a mock disaster exercise for the entities involved. The project is being supported by a small grant obtained by the health departments. Several counties in the region have completed or are planning CERT training courses. Among these are Hardin, Crawford, and Auglaize. Mahoning County: Staff of the Volunteer Services Agency in Youngstown, a Lead Volunteer Center, participated in CERT training. When the Fire Inspector came to inspect the VSA offices, the Program Director mentioned that 90 percent of the staff was CERT trained. He was very impressed and asked that, if an emergency occurred, how would the staff respond? Upon hearing that the staff would provide support, he noted this in his report. He then stated that he would like to see other companies and offices participate and planned to take this idea to his Chief! Tuscarawas County: RSVP Director Gail Baldwin has been involved with the formation and continued efforts of the Tuscarawas County Citizen Corps Council. Two very successful fairs have resulted in the recruitment of more than 70 volunteers for a variety of homeland security opportunities in the area. Gail recently participated in a radio interview to highlight the accomplishments of the local Citizen Corps and to promote recruitment efforts. Jackson County: Following participation in CERT training, a recently widowed volunteer reported that she felt safer knowing now how to operate a fire extinguisher. "You don't have time to stop and read directions or operating procedures. I guess I didn't realize how intimidated I was by the extinguisher, let alone when the fire is burning!" Delaware County: In the fall of 2003, one of the members of the county Citizen Corps Council participated in Delaware County's first ever Citizen Police Academy. This is a VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service) program. She has become very involved with this group and currently serves as the Vice President of the Academy alumni. She is the Volunteer Center director and uses this partnership in her countywide work as well as a champion for this program within the Citizen Corps Council.

Ohio Citizen Corps Volunteer Spotlight

The success of our programs lies on the contributions of everyday people. There is a section on that highlights the special Ohioans who are working hard to improve their communities through exceptional dedication and personal sacrifice. However, we've found so many inspirational volunteer stories that we're going to share some in each edition of our E-newsletter as well. Here is a story recently submitted by Cheri McGinnis, LVC Coordinator for the South Central Region, about Barry Crabtree. Barry is a member of the Jackson County Citizen Corps Council and a CERT member: "After some rock fell from a sandstone outcropping on the side of the road and damaged a vehicle, a CERT member (Barry) stopped and helped to direct traffic around the car. As well as directing traffic, he also helped to remove the debris from the road." We know that there are many more terrific stories out there about our extraordinary members, so please forward the following information to [email protected]

· · Person's full name, phone number and Email address Brief summary (1-2 paragraphs) of how they've made a positive impact on the community Digital photo if possible


We welcome your suggestions and stories about the people who have made a difference in your community.


Ohio Citizen Corps Web site/Helpful Links: - Ohio Citizen Corps

Ohio Citizen Corps Team:

Kitty Burcsu Executive Director, OCSC 614.728.2916 [email protected] Gloria Davis and Rusty Groselle Citizen Corps Program Co-Directors 614.995.1797 [email protected] David O'Reilly Database Administrator 614.995.1849 david.o'[email protected] John Poole Communications Director 614.728.5177 [email protected] Zack Bingham Call-to-Service Coordinator 614.794.9657 [email protected]

Calendar ­ Important Dates

· · · April ­ National Volunteer Month National Youth Service Days are April 16-18. Visit: for more information National Volunteer Week is April 18-24 for more information

Thank You... To Bradley Woodley of Indiana Citizen Corps and our Lead Volunteer Center Coordinators for some of the helpful information included in this newsletter. Your continued contributions will make this newsletter even better. We look forward to hearing from you!



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