Michael Murray - Kildoon
During high-profile search and rescue operations or after a natural disaster strikes, significant numbers of citizens will arrive on the scene to assist with a response. Anticipating and planning for this surge of spontaneous volunteers allow authorities to tap into an abundance of skills, knowledge and abilities, while mitigating issues that can affect the conduct of safe and efficient operations. Through proper management, spontaneous volunteers can turn into a force multiplier, augmenting the work of emergency responders and structured volunteers. Tom Weidemeyer, COO of UPS and president of UPS Airlines stated, “It’s a paradox—people’s willingness to volunteer and the system’s capacity to use them effectively.” This discussion will address some of the challenges and opportunities of integrating spontaneous volunteers in search and rescue operations and general emergency response to build on this willingness to help.