West Seneca, NY—Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced $38,930 in a federal grant for AmeriProCorps in West Seneca. The funding was approved by the Corporation for National and Community Service as a 2005 AmeriCorps National Professional Corps Grant.
“This funding will serve to strengthen our first responder abilities in Western New York,” said Congressman Higgins. “Members of AmeriProCorps are vital members of our community, who serve tirelessly for the safety and good of their neighborhoods, enabling them to better deal with disasters and emergency situations. I commend their work and congratulate them on this funding.”
“I am extremely excited about this opportunity,“ said AmeriCorps Executive Director Mark Lazzara. “This AmeriProCorps grant will allow us to expand our services to ensure a sound response to disaster in Western New York.”
Americorps members serving with AmeriProCorps (APC) act as first responders as part of an emergency outreach team. Members also recruit, train and coordinate volunteers to serve as second responders. The APC will train members in Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), and encourage them to pass those same principles onto volunteer citizens. This will bolster cities and their surrounding suburbs in their ability to deal with disaster, and engenders a natural interest in the APC members’ professions, emergency medical technicians (EMT) and firefighting. As this occurs, the EMT and firefighting professions are advanced in cities as the APC members become qualified in CERT tactics, and as they have more frequent, grassroots contact with community citizens; they will inspire a new collection of potential professionals.
AmeriCorps Professional Corps programs engage AmeriCorps members in service where insufficient numbers of qualified professionals exist to serve critical needs. These grants, which operate in more than one state, will support AmeriCorps members serving in the medical professions (nurses and emergency medical technicians (EMT)), and as teachers, social workers, early childhood development staff, first responders, and volunteer managers. The AmeriCorps Professional Corps program is cost effective because it offers flexibility and reduced administrative requirements, making it possible for a wide range of organizations to expand and enhance their existing service in partnership with AmeriCorps. Organizations who receive these grants use their own resources to cover AmeriCorps members’ living allowance and other program costs.