NJ Citizen Corps Receives National Honor
Recently, at the 2009 National Conference on Community Preparedness in Arlington, VA, the New Jersey State Citizen Corps Council was the proud recipient of the first ever National Citizen Corps Award in the category of Outstanding State/Territory Citizen Corps Initiatives.
The Award, presented by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the International association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) and accepted by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and New Jersey League of Municipalities on behalf of the state, recognizes the success of the New Jersey Citizen Corps program and the accomplishments that have been achieved while working in partnership with state, county and municipal first responder and emergency management partners as well as non-profit and volunteer organizations.
“The New Jersey Citizen Corps’ success is attributable to our core values of working in partnership and cooperation with our county, municipal and private sector equal partners to build our programs and mobilize our citizens to make them better prepared to protect themselves, their families and their communities in an emergency,” said New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes, Director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
The New Jersey Citizen Corps and its volunteers help their communities prepare for and respond to all types of disasters through education, training and volunteer service. Based on the tradition of "neighbor helping neighbor," Citizen Corps programs build strong communities, enhance the capabilities of emergency service organizations, and empower individuals to act responsibly and respond appropriately during critical times.
"This award honors the tens of thousands of our citizens who have volunteered to receive training, become better informed and support their communities and the professional responders across the state. Without their time and efforts we could not have achieved the success this award recognizes", added New Jersey State League of Municipality President, Mr. Timothy McDonough.
The success of New Jersey’s citizen Corps program has led to the following:
New Jersey has one of the largest Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs in the nation, with 430 registered teams and over 14,000 volunteers trained, organized and equipped to assist their communities in an emergency.
New Jersey has over 4,100 Medical Reserve Corps professional health care and civilian volunteers registered and organized in a county based strategic deployment with all 21 counties participating.
New Jersey has over 230 Neighborhood Watch programs statewide assisting local law enforcement agencies.
New Jersey has 72 Volunteers in Police Services programs working to assist local law enforcement agencies statewide.
New Jersey has 27 Fire Corps programs working with their local fire departments statewide.
"The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management representing all our county offices of emergency management and The New Jersey State League of Municipalities representing all our communities are invaluable partners presenting a strong teamwork approach to our citizen volunteers to send a message that their efforts can and do make a difference, added Mr. Howard Butt, New Jersey State Office of Emergency Management, New Jersey Citizen Corps State Coordinator."