The funding will support the Camden County Emergency Management Agency with materials, training and recruitment efforts to start the local program.

A grant partnership with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks  and the Camden County Emergency Management Agency is aimed at recruiting and training a crew of volunteers to help in the event of a disaster. 

The grant funds were made possible through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. The foundation  presented a check for $6,000 to the Community Foundation of the Lake to begin  the program for emergency responders in the Lake area. a Certified Emergency Responders Training (CERT) program.

The Lake area was one of five Community Foundations of the Ozarks (CFO) affiliate foundations to receive the grants for community-based projects. Cape Girardeau, Hermann, Joplin and Poplar Bluff were also included in the grants. The CFL applied for the special grant program through the CFO. 

The funding will support the Camden County Emergency Management Agency with materials, training and recruitment efforts to start the local program. With the grant, local emergency managers will recruit volunteers willing to enhance their own preparedness so they would be able to leave home after a natural disaster to assist in neighborhoods, church communities and nonprofits.

CERT volunteers are trained to assist first responders after natural disasters when additional support is needed to help residents. The CERT volunteers also get re-certified every year to stay current on local disaster-response plans.

According to Ann Mott, Assistant Director of the Camden County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), CERT volunteers partake in a ten-week program. The program is three hours a week and includes a final and practical. CERT offers three levels anyone can join: interest in personal preparedness, interest in neighborhood preparedness and interest in responding with the CERT team to incidents and recovery operations with first responders and EMA.

EMA Director Ron Gentry said the program will take as many volunteers as possible. The volunteers will be recruited  through various events and social media. Anyone interested in learning more about the program and volunteer training should contact the emergency management office at 573-346-7108. 

The CFL is one of 49 CFO affiliate foundations. The CFL was established in 2009 and holds assets of $1.36 million as of June 30. It has distributed more than $1.34 million back to the community.

Funding for the grant is made possible through The Funders’ Network (TFN) for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.

The CFO is a member of the Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency and Emergency Partnership, a TFN project to support a disaster preparedness, response and recovery learning cohort among 20 community foundations in an eight-state Midwestern region of the United States.