Red Cross turns to Jewish organisation for help

February 8, 2011 Agencies
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The Red Cross has turned to JEMP [Jewish Emergency Management Plan] today to assist in personal support calls to victims affected by the Victorian floods. They have already established a call centre and intend to operate it through to 15th February.

In this instance, they specifically want people who fall into any of the following categories:

  • Are JEMP trained; or
  • Have worked a shift in the call centre; or
  • Have worked on a personal support line; or
  • Have psychological training; or
  • Have social work training; or
  • Have personal support training

If you fall into any of the above categories and have some time to volunteer in the North Melbourne-based Red Cross call centre, please:

and provide the following information:

  1. That you are responding to a JEMP request for assistance
  2. What sort of background you have that is relevant to personal support calls
  3. Your availability
  4. Whether you have specific food requirements

This is not the first time JEMP has responded to a call for help from the Red Cross…and We wish to express our gratitude to the individuals and organisations who disseminated our urgent call for volunteers to staff the National Inquiry Centre hotline (NIC) for Cyclone Yasi last week. But the greatest thanks goes to well over 115 individuals who contacted JEMP to volunteer in the NIC and assist fellow Australians in crisis.

In anticipation of Cyclone Yasi hitting landfall, the NIC was established by the Australian Red Cross for people to inquire about loved ones and those registering in evacuation centres. Red Cross turned to JEMP for assistance in providing staffing for the NIC, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two organisations.

JEMP is known amongst emergency services to have trained emergency call takers for its own emergency operations centre. Under the MOU, JEMP handles overflow calls to the NIC or provides call taking volunteers. In 2008, JEMP’s NSW branch won the national volunteer emergency service for 2008 at a presentation in Parliament House, Canberra.

JEMP contacted its trained volunteers and then turned to the general Jewish community to call for volunteer personnel to staff the NIC in 6-hour shifts.  Within 36 hours JEMP had rostered 100 volunteers from the Jewish community with the first volunteers commencing just 3 hours after Red Cross contacted JEMP. We are particularly grateful to Jewish Care whose management and employees were also quick to answer the call for help.

Many people expressed an interest to know more about JEMP and to receive JEMP training. Feel free to contact about the option of attending one of our two information evenings on Thursday 3rd March and Monday 14th March.

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