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The Fire Corps partners announced the official launch of the Fire Corps program on Dec. 9, 2004. Fire Corps was created to support fire departments by leveraging community volunteer efforts to handle non-emergency activities, letting fire service personnel focus on emergencies. What’s more, citizen advocates will help expand educational outreach to all residents about ways in which they can help protect themselves, their families, and their communities from fire hazards.
As a Program Partner of President George W. Bush’s grass-roots initiative Citizen Corps, Fire Corps will work through local Citizen Corps Councils across the country to offer citizens education, training, and volunteer opportunities. Fire Corps is a partnership between the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ (IAFC) Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS), the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and Office of State and Local Government Preparedness and Coordination.
Fire Corps volunteer activities may include assisting fire department personnel with administrative duties, performing education and outreach efforts, supporting Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training in emergency preparedness and basic response techniques, and other non-suppression activities.
“Across this nation, we are keenly aware of people with a strong desire to serve their communities and contribute their time and skills to support homeland security, and in particular their local firefighters,” said U.S. Fire Administrator R. David Paulison. “When firefighters can stand side by side with citizens in promoting fire prevention and general safety efforts, and are able to invite citizens to assist with non emergency responsibilities, the overall security and safety of their community is greatly enhanced.”
Prior to the launch event, Fire Corps hosted its first meeting of the Fire Corps National Advisory Committee. Members of the committee include the IAFC, IAFF, NVFC, Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI), Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA), International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABPFF), International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA), International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI), National Association of Hispanic Firefighters (NAHF), National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD), Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS) and Women in the Fire Service (WFSI). The committee also serves as the Fire Service Subcommittee of the National Citizen Corps Council.
Fire Corps is coordinated nationally by the NVFC and is a Program Partner of Citizen Corps. Visit www.firecorps.org to learn more about Fire Corps.