Volunteer Opportunities Available

Critical Response Network provides support services for the volunteer emergency services: Fire, EMS, Disaster Response, and Search & Rescue in the Hudson Valley of NY. For ease of discussion we have divided volunteer opportunities into ‘administrative’ and ‘operations’. The administrative positions are the ‘business support’ positions. We have identified numerous potential ‘administrative’ volunteer opportunities within our own organization, as well as within local volunteer emergency service organizations (VESOs) for specific projects or, if preferred, on a semi-permanent basis.

All volunteers interested in ‘operations’ opportunities will be matched with appropriate VESOs. Not all geographic areas have every ‘operations’ opportunity available; however we will always attempt to accommodate you.

For potential ‘administrative’ volunteers, we maintain a ‘people resource bank’. For some positions, we can engage you almost immediately. For others, we will make your availability known to local VESOs and facilitate your placement as soon as possible. Please review these opportunities and then select one of three ways to start volunteering through Critical Response Network:

  1. Go to criticalresponsenetwork.com click on the Participate tab on the left and complete our on-line volunteer profile.
  2. Send us an email at volunteer@criticalresponsenetwork.com with the following information: Name, contact phone #, volunteer opportunities you are interested in.
  3. Call us 9am to 7pm at 845-242-1541.
We’ll get right back to you and discuss how we can work together to improve the emergency services in the Hudson Valley. And remember: NOT EVERYONE CAN BE A FIREFIGHTER BUT EVERYONE SHOULD BE A VOLUNTEER!

‘Operations’ Opportunities:

Note: These are generic descriptions. Each volunteer emergency services organization (VESO) has its own specific requirements in terms of residency, physical and mental ability, age, and time/volunteer requirements. Many will also do a criminal and/or personal background check as part of the membership process.

Ambulance Attendant: Provides patient assessment, care, and transportation to sick or injured patients. Should be physically fit, able to hear, see, think, and lift. “People” skills and compassion helpful. Will require training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), patient assessment, first aid, operation and application of equipment, and may require training and certification as either an Emergency Medical Technician or Certified First Responder. Training runs 30-160 hours in first year.

Ambulance Vehicle Operator: Usually requires all skills of the Ambulance Attendant plus emergency vehicle operations. Responsible for safe operation of the ambulance and getting the crew to the scene of the emergency, the crew and patient to the hospital, and the crew safely back to the station.

Disaster Team Volunteers: The Red Cross and other national organizations have teams trained, equipped, and ready to respond to disasters ranging from a single family house fire in your neighborhood to hurricanes and tornadoes anyplace in the US. Team members are needed on both the local (responding within local or surrounding counties) and national response level (able to respond out of area for a multi week assignment).

Firefighter: Not just for the guys anymore! Firefighters attempt to put out fires in residential, commercial, and industrial locations within a community. Firefighters must be physically fit and able to pass a comprehensive health exam. Firefighter training starts with a basic firefighter essentials course which includes safety, use of tools, equipment, etc.

Fire Police: The Fire Police provide security at the emergency scene, direct and/or detour traffic around an incident, help keep the public, firefighters, and other responders safe by keeping traffic and people under control. Fire Police stand outside in all sorts of weather. They should be physically fit, able to stand for long periods of time, comfortable in various temperatures from very cold to very hot, rain, sleet and snow! Good hearing, eyesight and the ability to lift things like signs and highway cones are helpful.

Medical Reserve Corps: The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is established on a county or regional basis. They support healthcare and disaster organizations in the event of a disaster or other major emergency. Responses can run the gamut from opening and staffing disaster shelters with the Red Cross to providing emergency vaccines in the event of a flu pandemic. Team members come from both the medical community: doctors, nurses, lab assistants, pharmacists, veterinarians, vet assistants, mental health professionals, phlebotomists, etc., as well as support personnel: translators, clerical, cooks, drivers, security, manpower to move stuff, warehouse, team leaders, managers, etc.

Search and Rescue Team: These are the folks who help find people who are lost in the wood, and bring injured hikers, snowmobilers, Alzheimer patients, and ATV operators out to safety. Many different positions are available depending on your interest. Options include administrative support at the ‘Command Post’ to the rescuer who rappels down the 50ft cliff to get to the patient. Search and Rescue Team members are also called on for building collapses, as well as for incidents like the 911 attacks. Teams may also include search dog handlers.

‘Administrative’ opportunities:

Accounting / Bookkeeper: Assist organizations with their accounting processes. Could include setting up or troubleshooting computer based accounting systems, assisting with budget preparation, or data entry.

Advocacy: Help us help the volunteer emergency services by advocating for them with politicians, business and community leaders. Could include attending meetings, writing letters, making calls or sending emails on important issues.

Board Member: All volunteer organizations have Boards of Directors. Board members provide management, fund raising support, and direction to any paid staff.

Board training: Do you have experience as a board member? Would you be willing to share your experience with members of other boards?

Chief People Person: Other organizations might call this position Human Resources Director or Volunteer Coordinator. We’re looking for one for Critical Response Network

Childcare / Babysitting: Many volunteers are parents. Having access to volunteer childcare for meetings and training can make the difference in their ability to volunteer!

Clerical support: filing, copying, phones, survey tabulation, program registration and support, and mailing preparation.

Computer data entry: Do you have accurate data entry skills? This could be for you. Opportunities to work from home or at an organization’s location.

Computer – web site design / Maintenance: If you like working on web sites, many organizations can use your help to either design their site or help keep it up-to-date! On-site or work from home.

Construction / Renovation: Opportunities could include helping to make fire stations more energy efficient, building shelving for storage, designing and/or building simulators for training, building a stage for a fund raising event, modifying a trailer for emergency response, or assisting with modifying senior citizens’ homes to be fire and fall safe.

Cook: Do you like to cook? Food is an integral part of many volunteer emergency services’ activities. You could be a cook (or assistant) for a fund raiser or recognition event.

Event Facilitator: Assist with the planning and running of events. Events include, but are not limited to, fund raisers, training programs, seminars, public relations events, public education programs, volunteer recruitment activities.

Event assistance: Hundreds of volunteer events are run each year. Volunteer manpower is needed at each one to be successful. ‘Assistance’ can run the gamut from registration, setting up chairs, tables or stages, security, parking, taking pictures or video, food service, decorations, escorting VIPs, keeping things on track and organized.

Fund raising: Money makes the world go ‘round… Raising money is a necessary evil for all volunteer organizations. Some are really good at it… others need assistance. Even those who are good, can always use help. Assistance needed in planning, promoting, carrying out and evaluating fund raising programs. Assistance also needed in teaching organizations how to effectively do fund raising.

Gardening: Do you have a green thumb? Consider working with your local emergency service organization to brighten up their grounds with flowers and shrubs. A great ‘garden club’ project.

Grants research/Writer: Source and complete grant applications. There are millions of dollars in funds available to the emergency services in the form of grants. Grant writing is an art. We need individuals who are successful grant researchers and writers to assist both CRN and the volunteer organizations in finding and writing grants.

Handyman / Maintenance: Are you a “jack of all trades” or just handy? Help keep your local emergency services station functional.

Interview Facilitator: Are you a people person? Do you put people at ease? Can you talk one-on-one or in front of a group? The ‘Exit Interview’ is a process to obtain feedback from volunteers who have resigned from an organization. It’s an important component of identifying what is or isn’t working within that organization. A similar process can be used with existing volunteers. The facilitator meets with the organization to develop the scope of the interview, interviews current and/or former volunteers, then prepares a report / recommendations for the organization. Critical Response Network provides the ideas, training and support.

Job Description Developer: Develop generic job descriptions for the volunteer emergency services and/or assist with the customization of job descriptions for specific organizations.

Legal (general): Are you an attorney or paralegal? Would you be willing to provide review for documents like applications, bylaws, or standard operating guidelines for ‘legal’ correctness?

Legal - Wills for Heros: Many emergency service volunteers do not have wills and other important legal documents like powers of attorney or living wills. The Wills for Heros Foundation (www.willsforheros.org), a 501(c)3 organization based in Arizona, provides these documents free of charge to first responders. We would like to support the establishment of a local affiliate. So, if you are an attorney and would like to help ‘protect those who protect us’, please volunteer.

Newsletter design: Do you like to write? Do graphics layout? We have a place for you. CRN will be producing a number of newsletters and we will also support organizations wanting to do their own community newsletters.

Old vehicle maintenance: Do you like working on/with older vehicles? Do you do body work, upholstery, or wood work? How about tinkering with pre-computer engines or drive trains, electrical systems, exhaust systems, or anything else on older vehicles? Numerous organizations (including Critical Response Network) have older fire trucks, apparatus, and ambulances that are in need of tender loving care. We have a 1971 Cadillac Superior hightop ambulance at our disposal. One of 7 left from its production make and model year! We’d like to get it totally functional as it would have been in 1971 for use in parades and public education programs.

Phone work: Do you like to talk on the phone? Numerous opportunities for phone work including following up with new and old volunteers, lining up sponsors for fund raising events, and soliciting vendors to support volunteer benefit discount programs.

Photographer: Use digital camera to take photos at assignments as accepted. Assignments might include special events, training programs, equipment, or emergency service incidents or drills.

Professional development: Do you have business management experience? Are you a people person? Would you be interested in working with volunteer organizations to improve their management effectiveness? Opportunities include running a S.W.O.T. (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats evaluation) for an organization.

Proofreading: Gramer errrars nd pour spel-ling r just bad nd imbarasing. There are lots of opportunities to put things into proper English! Internet connection required.

Public Education Coordinator: Work with local volunteer emergency service organizations to identify needs in the community; identify appropriate programs to meet those needs; identify and obtain funding, instructors, materials and equipment; then facilitate the delivery of the programs.

Public Educator - general: Do you like to speak to groups? Present public education programs to various organizations and groups. Training and equipment provided.

Public Educator – schools: Are you good with kids? Present programs in the schools on emergency preparedness, first aid, and fire safety. Training and equipment provided.

Public relations / Marketing: Opportunities include public relations & marketing campaign design, writing articles and news releases, voice-overs for Public Service Announcements, and designing ads, posters, brochures and handouts. Also, sourcing vendors or pro-bono partners for various programs.

Purchasing and inventory control: Do you have a background in purchasing or inventory control? Opportunities include assisting organizations in setting up a coordinated inventory control and purchasing system, sourcing and establishing a bar code system for inventory control, assisting with the development of a purchasing group for the volunteer emergency services.

Research: Do you like to do internet or library research? Are you detail oriented? Opportunities include grants research, identifying public education or marketing programs for us to duplicate, identifying resource materials for our web site or to share with volunteer organizations, identifying public materials for our newsletters.

Volunteer Development: Working with Critical Response Network, or a specific agency or group of agencies to identify, design, or present programs for volunteer development and improvement. Excellent communications skills, background in education or human resources helpful.

Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) Facilitator: The VIP encourages local business to support their emergency service volunteers by offering discounts on goods and services. Facilitators are assigned a geographic area or specific business demographics. The Facilitator explains the program to businesses, signs them up for participation, coordinates public relations with the business and the volunteer organization, and then monitors the program.

Volunteer Placement Coordinator: Reviews volunteer applications, interviews potential volunteers, then identifies appropriate volunteer opportunities, and assists the volunteer in placement.

Volunteer Recruiter: Distribute recruitment materials, assist with volunteer recruitment programs, meet with prospects and explain opportunities, and assist with completion of volunteer applications.

Volunteer Retention Facilitator: It’s much easier to keep a good volunteer than to find a new one. Retention Facilitators assist organizations to keep their members happy by identifying benefits to membership, coordinating recognition programs, and identifying and eliminating any negatives to membership.

If you don’t see a position that interests you or you have something else in mind, let us know!

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