EastTex Regional CERT held it’s annual kickoff meeting last. We had a great turnout with 38 people in attendance! A big thank you as always to Rockwall County OEM for access to the conference room. With quite a few changes taking place in the past 6 months, the agenda was pretty lengthy, but ETRC is positioned well for growth. Here’s a summary of what was discussed at the meeting
Highlights for 2018
ETRC has reached 145 active members that donated 3,200 hours of their time for the calendar year. Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers that sacrifice their personal time to allow us to do what we do. We only had 3 emergency call outs last year that were short, so we didn’t have the hours that we’ve had in the last couple years with the Rowlett tornado and Michael Chambers search.
New for 2019
- New requirement for active call out list. The current policy to remain on the active call out list is to attend at least 3 trainings/drills/meetings during the course of the year, which with the number of events we’re hosting should be no problem. The annual meeting counted as one of those. New this year, we are requiring at least one of the 3 events you attend be one of the public support events we do during the year (Festival/parade support, fireworks, etc). We need more help assisting at these events, and they are crucial for us for a few reasons First, they give us time operating in front of PD and FD Chiefs who see how competent an organization we have. Second, it gives us time in front of the community to earn visibility and recruit. Lastly, it gives us time to operate together and get to know one another better. That strong working relationship will be extremely important to carry over during an emergency when it matters the most.
- We will be having monthly trainings one night during the week. These will be focused on specific skills that we don’t have the time to cover or spend enough time on in the basic class. Not coincidentally, we’ll be doing trainings that focus on the skills people wanted to work on in the polls. I’ve also arranged for some specialized training on how to deal with Autistic kids, and adults with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. I’m also trying to work in a CPA to come talk to us about the tax benefits of being a volunteer and the things you should consider.
- Help Wanted – we’ll be posting information on our website and via email about positions we need help with. Most of these would require an hour a week or less, but would be a huge help in getting tasks accomplished. If we have many people contribute just a little bit, we can accomplish a whole lot more than just a few.
- Our Kid Safe Zone program is close to becoming a reality! To help promote child safety, we’ll be setting up signs at public events and offer parents and their children a safe meeting place to go to in case they get separated. More details to come.
- Our website has been redesigned to be more modern. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out! https://easttexrc.org/
- Fundraisers – Grant money is going away. ETRC will need to take a more proactive stance to raise money through 1 or 2 major fundraisers, as well as corporate sponsorships. If you know any business owner that would like to help us, please have them contact me.
- Members area on our website. This is something we’re considering adding. We are looking for a sponsor to help pay for this that would be able to have their banner ad visible to all team members that use the members’ area. This would be a place for all things ETRC in one place. Details to come.
- We are currently looking in to getting a trailer for each county. We have two that we are likely to be able to use, but need a third. If anyone knows someone with a trailer they would want to donate, they’d be able to take a nice write off. We don’t need one as big as our current one.