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About Volunteering with Douglas County Emergency Management (DCEM)

Volunteer opportunities are available and are utilized to support all four phases of emergency management.
2013 Douglas County EM Volunteer Recognition
2013 Douglas County EM Volunteer Recognition

Douglas County Emergency Management is tasked with many responsibilities according to the Local Emergency Operations Plan. In order to appropriately fulfill some of these responsibilities, the services of volunteers are needed.

Emergency Volunteers help people prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies. Douglas County Emergency Management (DCEM) offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. Much of this training is free. So whether you love the weather, are an amateur radio operator, or just want to be better prepared and help before, during and after disasters DCEM has three distinct ways to serve your community.

  • Skywarn volunteers are authorized as weather spotters who report severe weather activity threatening Douglas County.
  • The Auxiliary Communications Team (ACT) volunteers are licensed amateur radio operations who provide alternative communications capabilities.
  • The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a positive and realistic approach to emergency situations where initially ordinary citizens will be on their own and their actions can make a difference. Through this training, citizens will learn to suppress small fires, perform light search and rescue, shut off utilities (gas, water, electricity), provide basic first aid, and organize spontaneous volunteers until professional emergency responders arrive.

Other opportunities include:

  • Preparedness Fairs: Volunteers educate citizens on potential disasters and how to become better prepared.
  • Helmet Fairs: Volunteers assist with traffic control during the event.
  • Other County's Disasters: Volunteers have been sent as CERT members to assist in Recovery Efforts of other counties.
  • Training Opportunities: Volunteers have the opportunity to aid in the instruction of new volunteers.

Only you can determine if you have the time to volunteer, but DCEM will work with you to provide rewarding experiences, whatever your schedule. You may choose to help with one–time events, like Helmet Fairs, Preparedness Fairs, or other volunteer opportunities. There also may be opportunities to work on short-term assignments, such as translating materials in other languages or creating flyers and brochures.

In general, no specific skills are required to volunteer. Emergency Management Volunteers come from different personal and professional backgrounds, with various skills and talents. Auxiliary Communications Team members will need an FCC issued amateur radio license. Training will almost always be provided to you for free.

In order to ensure the safety of our volunteers and effectiveness of our programs, Emergency Management has established Volunteer Policies and Procedures. Currently, these are undergoing review and revision, so no new applications are being processed at this time. As soon as the final review is completed, the application process will be reopened. If you would like to be notified when applications are being accepted, please email Joe Hoelscher, DCEM Interim Director. Thank you for your patience.