By: Neily Chapman, MSRO External Affairs Specialist
The Mississippi Recovery Office is proud to be one of two locations providing support for the newly developed NCCC-FEMA Corps program. The partnership between FEMA and the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corpswas designed to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from disasters by providing an additional workforce in support of FEMA’s current disaster reserve workforce and expand career opportunities for young people.
Nineteen team leaders and two unit leaders assigned to the AmeriCorps campus in Vicksburg, Ms., traveled to Biloxi, Ms., on July 19 to begin their introduction into NCCC-FEMA Corps.
After a brief safety and security overview, each member received a FEMA affiliate badge, FEMA laptop, blackberry and VPN token. IT support was provided to help individuals log onto their FEMA laptop, complete IT security awareness training and activate blackberry devices.
NCCC-FEMA Corps Team Leader Ian McCormick is excited to be a part of this process. After working two years as an emergency communication dispatcher for the Vermont State Police, McCormick felt a calling to public service in emergency management.
“After answering 911 calls during Tropical Storm Irene, I started thinking of other ways I could help,” McCormick said. “I like helping people during difficult times and being able to keep calm during a disaster is important.”
While speaking with his family about other ways he could help, his mother suggested AmeriCorps. “My mom was an AmeriCorps volunteer in the seventies and she still talks about how grateful she was for the experience,” McCormick said.
As a team leader, McCormick will take the desire to help those in need and his ability to stay calm during stressful times and apply them to the management of 10-12 NCCC-FEMA Corp members.
Beginning in mid-September, team leaders will report to the Center for Disaster Preparedness in Anniston, Al., where they will join over 400 NCCC-FEMA Corps members for FEMA training. Once trained, NCCC-FEMA Corps members will provide support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors to supporting disaster recovery centers.