Fresno Citizen Corps Earns National Recognition
08/30/2010

The Fresno Citizen Corps Council has been named as National Citizen Corps Achievement Award Finalist.

Citizen Corps is a nationwide, grassroots movement to engage civic leaders and the public in community safety and disaster preparedness. The Fresno Citizen Corps Council, which oversees local efforts, was notified of the recognition by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this week.

The Fresno Citizen Corps Council was selected for exemplary community preparedness efforts and was selected as a finalist in the category of Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award (serving a population over 750,000). Fresno was chosen as a national 2010 finalist, in part, due to its diverse array of programs and initiatives that make the Fresno region safe and proud. The Fresno Citizen Corps Council is made up of a dedicated group of key stakeholders including the City and County Offices of Emergency Services, Fresno Police and Fire Departments, the Office of the Mayor, American Red Cross, United Way/211, HandsOn Central California, Fresno County Office of Education, Air National Guard 144th Fighter Wing, CSU Fresno, the business sector, CBOs and faith-based organizations. The FCCC was the driving force in establishing the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and the Fresno Safe and Proud Neighborhoods AmeriCorps programs—whose leaders also have a seat on the Council.

The underlying goal of the Citizen Corps is to create and support a culture of citizenship, service and responsibility. The Fresno Citizen Corps supports the CERT, MRC, VIPS, Neighborhood Watch, Fire Corps and AmeriCorps programs, whose volunteers have served the community by filling sandbags during severe storms, installing hundreds of free smoke alarms, staffing cooling centers, collecting durable medical equipment for people with disabilities, distributing informational materials during heat waves, painting out graffiti, distributing crime prevention and disaster preparedness information, organizing neighborhood events, and speaking at service clubs, professional associations, special needs organizations and volunteer fairs. Fresno Citizen Corp volunteers also regularly provide rehab for firefighters, participate in numerous tabletop and full-scale exercises and assist first responders, as requested.

“I am proud of the hard work and achievements of the members of the Fresno Citizen Corps Council,” Mayor Ashley Swearengin said. “This recognition demonstrates their tremendous dedication and commitment to ensuring our community is engaged and prepared. As finalists, they exemplify excellence in local emergency planning and successful public-private partnerships which have set a standard for other communities across the country,” she said.

Award winners will be announced in September as part of National Preparedness Month (NPM) in conjunction with the Community Resilience Roundtable in Washington, D.C. Led by FEMA’s Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, NPM is held each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.
For more information about FEMA and Citizen Corps, visit www.fema.gov and www.citizencorps.gov.

###