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Volunteer Corps could generate beneficial results

Recruits are being sought for a new group of volunteers being organized in Lee County. People who wish to help their communities during emergencies should seize this opportunity to become involved.

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST

We believe that, when governmental units work together, good things happen. The same goes for departments within a governmental unit.

We also believe that the most valuable resource a community has is an aware and engaged public.

When you combine the shared goal of serving the public with a spirit of cooperation and volunteerism, the synergy can yield extremely beneficial results.

Those thoughts came to mind when we heard about the creation of the Lee County Volunteer Corps.

The group’s first meeting will be next week, April 24, from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Dixon Public Safety Building, 220 S. Hennepin Ave.

Volunteers from across the county are being asked to sign up and get involved.

The corps is the brainchild of the leaders of two Lee County departments: Tim Trader, the Lee County Health Department’s environmental health director, and Kevin Lalley, the Lee County Emergency Management director.

Both departments must deal with emergency situations – one, caused by health emergencies; the other, caused by weather emergencies.

Both, at times, are in need of volunteers to carry out functions such as weather spotting, medical distribution, damage assessment, sand bagging, and administrative assistance.

Why not work together to recruit and train those volunteers?

At the April 24 informational meeting, Lalley and Trader will give a 15-minute overview of the corps, then spend 5 to 10 minutes on each category.

Prospective volunteers can fill out an application at the meeting, where dinner will be served. If you are 18 or older, you are welcome to attend.

Training will occur later. Organizers anticipate having sessions several times a year. Volunteers will also be utilized during occasional disaster drills.

Currently, about 60 volunteers already are involved in various ways to help the departments during disasters and health emergencies. It is hoped that they will be supplemented with new recruits.

People who wish to participate must RSVP to Trader at 815-284-3371 or by email at ttrader@lchd.com. Trader may also be contacted for additional information and applications.

Two departments working together, assisted by caring, trained volunteers. That’s the type of cooperation we like to see.

We encourage people across the county to seize this opportunity to become involved.

 

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