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Citizen Corps: Supporting the Community and our First Responders

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Americans have looked for and found many opportunities to help in their communities. President Bush created the USA Freedom Corps in an effort to capture those opportunities and foster an American culture of service, citizenship and responsibility. These volunteers are especially important in smaller communities where resources may be limited.

Citizen Corps is the arm of USA Freedom Corps that provides opportunities for citizens that want to help make their communities more secure. Since the President made his call to two years of volunteer service during his State of the Union address, there have been more than 1.6 million hits to the new web site. Almost 24,000 Americans from all 50 states and U.S. territories have volunteered to work with one or more of the Citizen Corps programs. These include:

  • More than 15,000 volunteers are looking to be trained in emergency response skills through FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team program;
  • Almost 7,000 volunteers have signed up to get involved in Neighborhood Watch activities in their communities
  • More than 15,000 potential volunteers have expressed interest in the new Volunteers in Police Service and Operation TIPS programs being developed by the Department of Justice presently; and,
  • More than 5,000 potential volunteers have expressed an interest in joining a Medical Reserve Corps in their community as part of a program being developed by the Department of Health and Human Services to tap the skills of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals in times of community crisis.