In a signing ceremony June 16, Deputy Administrator for National Preparedness Dennis Schrader announced a newly formed affiliation between FEMA's Citizen Corps and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to help promote and improve community emergency preparedness, disaster response training for the public and volunteer service.
Schrader and George Boggs, president and chief executive officer of AACC, co-signed the Statement of Affiliation.
Citizen Corps and the AACC each view community safety and emergency preparedness as a top priority for their respective organizations and for the entire country. This partnership formalizes the commitment that community colleges play in homeland security.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, community colleges currently credential approximately 80 percent of first responders and 60 percent of health-care professionals.
"Community colleges play a vital role in training our first responders," Schrader said. "Through this affiliation with Citizen Corps, we are delighted to work with the American Association of Community Colleges to expand their role in comprehensive community preparedness to include support for emergency planning, education and outreach, and training for the general public."
Boggs said, "Community colleges are uniquely positioned to support community preparedness. We look forward to working with our member colleges to expand their leadership role in the community in this critical area."
AACC is the primary advocacy organization for the nation's community colleges, representing almost 1,200 two-year institutions and more than 11 million students.
With over 2200 local Citizen Corps Councils nationwide, Citizen Corps is FEMA's nationwide grass-roots effort to encourage community and government leaders to come together to involve community members and organizations in all-hazards emergency preparedness, planning, mitigation, response, and recovery.
The Citizen Corps Affiliate Program expands the resources and materials available to states and local communities by partnering with programs and organizations that offer resources for public education, outreach, and training; represent volunteers interested in helping to make their community safer; or offer volunteer service opportunities to support first responders, disaster relief activities and community safety efforts.For more information about Citizen Corps, visit www.citizencorps.gov
To learn more about the American Association of Community Colleges, please visit www.aacc.nche.edu.