Emergency Volunteering Service Launches

Volunteers Collecting Food Donations In Warehouse

Volunteering Victoria has launched a pilot program to coordinate volunteers for disaster relief and recovery activities to mark National Volunteer Week.

The HelpOUT program, launched on Tuesday, will run in Geelong and surrounding areas. It uses an online platform to match volunteers based on their skills and location with emergency service organisations that require support.

Currently more than 1,800 Victorians are listed on the program, and it accepts registrations year-round.

A spokesperson for Volunteering Victoria said emergency volunteering had become increasingly recognised as an important part of disaster response.

“It’s important for emergency management organisations to have access to the people who they need,” the spokesperson said.

“It’s also becoming increasingly obvious, through research and policy documents nationally, that when people involved in an emergency… are actually able to be involved in their own preparedness and recovery activities they get better outcomes.”

One of the key principles of the HelpOUT program is working with emergency service organisations to provide volunteers that meet their criteria.

HelpOUT is an adaptation of the Emergency Volunteering CREW program in Queensland, and was also created in partnership with Volunteering Geelong and Volunteering Queensland

Volunteering Victoria said the Queensland model, at the time of its launch in 2008, was the most sophisticated program of its kind worldwide.

Coordinated emergency volunteering services are now across four states and territories, including Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. To read more click here.

The 5th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held at Jupiters Gold Coast, QLD on the 30-31 May 2016. The Conference theme ‘EARTH, FIRE and RAIN’ will continue to examine issues that impact preparedness, resilience, response and capability.

To register for the conference CLICK HERE.

Delegates may also wish to attend the 2016 Australian and New Zealand Search and Rescue Conference (ANZSAR); Land, Sea & Air which will follow the Disaster and Emergency Management Conference on 1st June discussing the issues and challenges in Search and Rescue and continue the support of professional development in new training, techniques and requirements.

Special discount rates are being offered to those that wish to attend both Conferences.