Let’s go help some people!
Over the next months and maybe years, many volunteers will be needed to help our neighbors in north central Washington recover from devastating fires. As with anything else, there is a right way and a less that right way to provide our volunteer services. The PNW Conference Disaster Response Team encourage you to attend one of the following courses to prepare you for your experience helping the survivors reach a new normal. The classes will be held on October 3rd at the Wenatchee First UMC in Wenatchee, WA. The church is located at 941 Washington Street, Wenatchee, WA. The courses will be taught at the following times:
- Early Response Team Basic 8:30 to 4:30
- Early Response Team Refresher 9:30 to 4:30
- Volunteers in Mission 9:30 to 4:30
- Spiritual and Emotional Care 9:30 to 11:30
The ERT Refresher and the VIM classes will include Spiritual and Emotional Care. A light lunch will be served. Please send a message to Jim Truitt at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are available to attend.
Early Response Team: The mission of the Early Response Team (ERT) is to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a disaster. The team is neither a first response group of emergency workers nor a recovery rebuild or repair team; rather it fills a specific need in the early days after a disaster to establish the presence of the church. The tasks accomplished by an ERT vary depending on the type of disaster. In general, they do whatever is necessary to make a survivor’s home safe, secure, and sanitary and to prevent further damage. In some cases, such as a fire, the ERT’s role is quite different. Here they are mostly in a support role to help other organizations perform services such as donations management, sheltering, damage assessment and information gathering. A key role is working directly with the survivor to recover as much as possible from the debris and help them clean up the site.
Early Response Team Refresher: ERTs are certified by UMCOR to perform their duties and provide consistency across the US. Each ERT is required to attend a refresher course and have their background checks updated every three years.
Spiritual and Emotional Care: Spiritual and emotional care is everyone’s responsibility, especially following a disaster. We believe every member of every UMVIM team, including Early Response Teams, should receive basic spiritual and emotional care training. This course provides basic information on spiritual and emotional care for survivors, first responders, and UMVIM team members. It emphasizes listening skills, what to say, and what not to say.
Volunteer in Mission Team (VIM) Training for Rebuilding after PNW Fires:
Whether you have never led a VIM team or you have led several, this is the training for you. Learn how to lead or just be part of a VIM team who are hoping to work to help those in need as a result of 2 years of fires in the Pateros and Okanogan areas. The course will cover the basics of leading a VIM team within the PNW Annual Conference, including requirements to work with the Long Term Recovery Group, housing and food, safety, and equipment needed. Team orientation, required forms, and contacts will also be covered.