US: Training Leads for Disaster Response

May 15, 2019

Trained IOCC team leads, supported by the IOCC vans, spearhead volunteers in clearing, mucking out, and rebuilding homes across the US.

As part of IOCC’s ongoing efforts to grow our effectiveness and reach here in the United States, more than 30 volunteers completed a three-day training this month in Minneapolis, Minnesota, preparing to lead IOCC’s disaster response teams.

After a primer on organization mission and role, team-leads-in-training dived into workshops prepping them to deploy with IOCC. Trainings covered psychological first aid, general emotional and spiritual caregiving, traditional first aid, and a run-down of team leaders’ administrative responsibilities. Both classroom and practicum sessions prepared trainees to properly muck out homes and to safely, effectively use chainsaws and other equipment. Naturally, the practicum involved some real work, as trainees assisted a southern-Minnesota family by cutting and removing trees felled by straight-line winds last year.

Whether floods, hurricanes, or other disasters, IOCC supports the people affected—both in the early aftermath and later in the recovery process. Emergency Action Teams might deploy to help clear flooded or wind-damaged homes, remove debris and fallen trees—some of the first steps after disaster hits. Home Build Teams come in later on, repairing and rebuilding houses, from hanging drywall to painting walls and laying flooring.

Training for team leads includes learning to safely use power tools and oversee construction basics that are crucial for IOCC Emergency Action and Home Build Teams.

Having these new team leads in place extends IOCC’s ability to send out volunteer teams when needs arise. We’re thankful to have them aboard!