Since September 11, 2001, fire and emergency service departments across the nation
are struggling with increasing demands for service coupled with inadequate funding.
In addition to responding to fires and medical emergencies, firefighters and EMS
personnel are called upon to respond to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and
other emergencies facing their communities. In an effort to help departments face
these increasing demands, Fire Corps was launched in December 2004, making it the
newest of the five partner programs under Citizen Corps.
Fire Corps’ mission is to increase the capacity of volunteer, career, and combination
fire and EMS departments through the use of community volunteers. These volunteers
help resource-constrained departments by performing non-operational or non-emergency
roles, making departments better able to develop, implement, expand, and sustain
programs and services that meet the needs of their communities. In fulfilling these
roles, citizens allow their local firefighters and emergency medical personnel to
focus their efforts on training for and responding to critical, life-threatening
situations while also increasing the ability of the department to provide additional
programs and services for the community it serves.
Through Fire Corps, individuals across the country assist their local departments
in a myriad of roles, including conducting fire prevention activities at the state
and local levels, fundraising, providing canteen services (drinks and food) for
emergency responders during lengthy incidents, maintaining emergency apparatus,
performing administrative duties, and much more. The range of tasks citizens can
perform is limited only by the needs of the department. In return, citizens gain
an intimate understanding of the fire and emergency services and become better prepared
to handle their own emergencies as well as those of their neighbors.
Several key industry associations recognized Fire Corps’ potential to foster a greater
sense of preparedness and partnered to make Fire Corps a reality. These organizations
include the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Volunteer
Fire Council (NVFC), the United States Fire Administration (USFA), and thirteen
additional national fire and emergency service organizations. Together, this group
makes up the Fire Corps National Advisory Committee, which provides direction and
input on the program as well as on emerging issues in the fire and emergency services.
These organizations also make up the fire service subcommittee of the National Citizen
Corps Council. Fire Corps is administered by the NVFC, which is located in Washington,
DC, and receives its funding from the Department of Homeland Security.
More information about Fire Corps may be found at
www.firecorps.org or by calling 1-888-FC-INFO1 (324-6361). For volunteer
opportunities in Layton City, call 801-336-3940.