Volunteers in disaster – some food for thought.
Disasters and significant incidents are defined by the instantaneous excess of community need to available resources (i.e. we momentarily have more problems than we have solutions). This can be particularly true of the University Community, where we have a city within a city. Universities have all of the same problems as a city as well as some challenges a city doesn’t have, often without all of the resources a city enjoys in terms of personnel and capabilities.
Well-trained and coordinated emergency volunteers can be a significant benefit to a University as a resource multiplier, assisting the career first responders by performing simple, common duties that do not require specialized training or authority. This allows the University emergency officials to evaluate the incident needs and allocate the specialized career first responders to those areas where only their unique skills and authorities will do.
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