The National Emergency Management Agency has mandated that volunteers in the shelter community provide the lifesaving services.
The requirement was first made in the wake of a deadly fire at a New York City homeless shelter, but it’s now in place at all-too-frequent-but-troubling locations in cities across the country.
Volunteers have been called to respond to fire emergencies since the 1950s, but the number of shelters in the country has grown by about 100% since then.
With the number at an all-time high, the need for volunteer firefighters has increased as the cost of providing these services has increased, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty about how these positions will be managed.
In addition to the requirement that volunteers work on the day-to-day operations of the shelter, there are additional requirements that can be met by volunteers.
Some of these require that they have a job that requires them to stay in a location longer than 15 minutes, that they work for a non-profit organization, and that they’re prepared to do what they do, said Steve Guggenheim, a volunteer firefighter with the New York State Fire Department.
There are also other requirements that need to be met to volunteer, such as that they must have a minimum of a two-year minimum of experience, and they must be able to meet other responsibilities such as providing information and coordinating activities, Gugginheim said.
AARP is a volunteer organization that provides services to shelters, homeless camps and other low-income communities across the U.S.AARP is a 501(c)(3) non-profits that receive funding from the federal government to provide emergency and disaster assistance to those who are homeless.
Its website says that its mission is to: protect the most vulnerable Americans from harm and to reduce the barriers that create conditions for homelessness, unemployment and other economic hardship.
For more information about AARP, go to aarp.org and read more about the volunteer firefighter requirement.