Volunteer Community Support Assistance Team
South Kingstown and Narragansett Emergency Management Agencies recognize the need for an organized and trained group of volunteers that can respond to a disaster or the imminent threat of disaster within the community. This group of volunteers is known as the Volunteer Community Support and Assistance Team. The team is supported by volunteers from the Southern Rhode Island Volunteers who provide support and logistics to the team. VCSAT teams operate under the umbrella of the South Kingstown and Narragansett Emergency Management Agencies.
N/SK VCSAT will train and prepare individual citizens in communities, businesses, schools and institutions in emergency preparedness and basic disaster response support functions and techniques and enable them to prepare, as volunteers, to take an active role in providing critical support to Emergency Management, and emergency response personnel during emergencies and large scale events. In addition, training that VCSAT members receive will help them to assist effectively in other smaller scale mishaps that are within the scope of everyday crisis. Members may be utilized for various assignments, which may include neighborhood, countywide, statewide, or even national activation.
There are three basic categories of VCSAT graduates.
Comprised of persons who only want to take the course so they can better understand, prepare for, and respond to disasters in their own surroundings. They are not interested in on-going training or in being a part of any VCSAT related community service projects. They benefit the community by being able to respond should an emergency arise.
Comprised of persons who want to take part in on-going training. They may or may not be willing to take part in community service projects that VCSAT coordinators would arrange and establish or are not willing or able to take part in the management of on-going VCSAT activities. However, they are interested in responding should a local or National emergency arise. They are people who will be members of the team when the real need comes. N/SK VCSAT needs to keep in contact with these persons to let them know of opportunities and have in place a communication system to contact them as needed.
Comprised of persons for whom VCSAT is a passion. They want to receive on-going training and, at least periodically, take part in special public service projects. They are the core of the VCSAT program and are interested in becoming trained in CERT and other disciplines. They help with training, managing the VCSAT program and they make themselves generally available whenever VCSAT needs them. These are people who are included within the VCSAT structure. It is for these VCSAT members that the following Standard Operating Guidelines are established.
Those interested in joining the team are always welcome and needed. Benefits of team membership include:
- Free training in topics such as: CPR, CERT, Shelter Operations, Medical Points of Dispensing and much more.
- Become better prepared to assist yourself, your family and your neighbors in the event of a disaster.
- T-Shirt and ID card identifying yourself as a VCSAT member.
- Chance to work with emergency professionals in your area and learn from them.
How to volunteer or join the team?
For more information or questions please contact Director Michael A. DeMello at 401-788-9785.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are background checks required to join the team?
A: Yes, all members backgrounds will be checked by Southern RI Volunteers. All volunteers must contact SRIV and be cleared by them before being referred to the VCSAT team.
How often does the team meet?
A: The team has at least one monthly meeting. During this meeting a brief training is normally conducted in various topics each month. Other training are also offered during each month.
Can I just show up during an incident and help?
A: This is known as a spontaneous volunteer and is not approved to assist until cleared by SRIV and South Kingstown EMS.