By Rodney Melsek
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and FEMA are building on their existing and successful historic collaboration on disaster response and recovery activities to establish the FEMA Corps within the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) program to support Federal emergency and disaster response and recovery efforts. FEMA is providing CNCS funding to support up to 1,600 NCCC-FEMA Members per year for the next 5 years.
For nearly two decades, CNCS has played an integral role in FEMA’s disaster response work, including the NCCC program. Over the last five years, FEMA has provided CNCS with more than five million dollars in mission assignments to fund the use of NCCC Members in support of disasters response and recovery. In 2011, NCCC Members provided support to 16 disasters affecting 22 states, including large-scale responses in Joplin, Missouri; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Bastrop, Texas; and the mid-Atlantic after Hurricane Irene.
Benefits of the NCCC-FEMA Corps Program
NCCC-FEMA Corps promotes better mission outcomes for both CNCS and FEMA, while improving the delivery of assistance to disaster survivors. The program supports FEMA’s ability to meet its all-hazards mission through a scalable and reliable force structure, as well as CNCS’s ability to provide an increasing number of meaningful service opportunities. The program results in significant savings to the American taxpayer and also advances the President’s top strategic management, national security, and policy priorities, including job creation, working across government, and promoting efficiencies.
Current NCCC-FEMA Corps Implementation Schedule
The implementation of NCCC-FEMA Corps began on July 16th on the NCCC campuses in Vinton, IA and Vicksburg, MS with the arrival of the first 42 Team Leaders for NCCC training. In mid-August, 438 additional Members will begin NCCC training. Beginning in mid-September, following induction into NCCC-FEMA Corps, the first 480 Members will report to the Center for Disaster Preparedness in Anniston, AL for two weeks of FEMA training.
FEMA training begins with a 5-day basic introduction to FEMA titled “NCCC-FEMA Corps: Restoring Families and Communities after Disasters.” The course provides a foundational understanding of FEMA and prepares Members to contribute to the agency’s mission. Members will learn the basics of emergency management, the mission and culture of FEMA, and their role and responsibilities in relation to the agency’s mission.
Following the basic introductory course, the Members undertake one week of position-specific training. Members will support FEMA disaster management operations in organizations as trainees in one of 8 FQS positions:
- Public Assistance Project Specialist
- Individual Assistance Reports Specialist
- Voluntary Agency Liaison Specialist
- Mass Care/Emergency Assistance Specialist
- Individual Assistance Applicant Services Program Specialist
- Logistics Specialist
- Logistics System Specialist
- Community Relations Specialist
After completing FEMA training in early October, the first 480 Members will be deployed to support FEMA disaster management operations.
In January and February 2013, the program continues with the second cohort of Team Leaders and Members training. A full 1,600 complement of Members will be available in 2014, and the number will then fluctuate yearly between 700 and 1,600 through 2016.
FEMA Corps is an integral part of FEMA’s disaster workforce initiatives and will enhance our capabilities to effectively respond to major disasters in support of our State and local partners.