FEMA Honors Fresno Citizen Corps for Emergency Preparedness Efforts

The Fresno Citizen Corps Council has been honored by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) for its efforts to prepare the local community for unforeseen emergencies. FEMA announced the winners of its 2010 National Citizen Corps Achievement Awards yesterday.

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 was honored for its exemplary efforts in serving a population over 750,000.

The Fresno Citizen Corps Council includes representatives from 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 Citizen Corps Council 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.

Citizen Corps 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. 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.