Citizen Corps is a vital component of President Bush's new USA Freedom Corps initiative, through
which he wants to inspire every American to answer the call to service and to strengthen and expand service opportunities to
protect our homeland, to support our communities, and to extend American compassion around the world. President Bush will
continue to echo his call to service and encourage Americans to serve their communities through Citizen Corps.
Additional aspects of the federal government role in Citizen Corps will include:
- Promoting Citizen Corps at the national level and providing a national message, a logo, and a brand;
- Fostering state and community participation, overseeing progress, recognizing accomplishment, and providing opportunities
for mentoring and sharing ideas and resources;
- Compiling accurate information and developing training standards and training materials for Citizen Corps activities;
- Conducting train-the-trainers courses to develop state training capabilities and providing on-line educational
opportunities, as appropriate;
- Helping identify volunteer programs and initiatives that support the goals of Citizen Corps;
- Helping secure national partnerships to promote Citizen Corps throughout the country; and
- Developing financial incentives and tie-ins with other federal programs to encourage local government participation in
At the national level, Citizen Corps is coordinated by FEMA, in collaboration with DOJ, and HHS and is supported by CNCS.
In addition, FEMA is working with other federal agencies, national volunteer organizations, and representatives from first
responders associations. FEMAs regional offices will work with states and communities to help make Citizen Corps a
The responsibilities of state governments mirror those of the federal government and include the
mission to encourage every community in the state to participate in Citizen Corps.
Local Citizen Corps Councils will be supported by a state coordinator for Citizen Corps. The state may also choose to
create a state Citizen Corps Council to bring together a number of state, local, and community organizations to discuss
opportunities for collaboration and ways to address the needs of communities across the state and to share innovative
practices and ways to avoid pitfalls. Since this is primarily a local government initiative, it is critical that the state
coordinator has a good working relationship with the local governments and serves as an advocate.
Key state responsibilities include: identifying needs and developing a statewide strategy for increasing the first
responder and volunteer collaboration; developing statewide marketing strategies; matching Citizen Corps training needs with
other major state training initiatives; reporting statewide accomplishments; and ensuring that Citizen Corps communities
receive consideration for any relevant grant funding administered by the state.
An example of this is supporting 1-800-FIRE-LINE, a toll free number that interested citizens can call to learn more about
volunteer fire/EMS opportunities in their community. Currently, the fireline service is available in only 30 states.
Through Citizen Corps, 1-800-FIRE-LINE could be available in all states and territories by having volunteers staff the phone
line and provide information.
States could also support Citizen Corps by developing relevant state policies and practices. To lend their support,
governors and other state representatives could also promote Citizen Corps in public speaking engagements, press conferences,
and media events.