The training is specifically focused on protocol and how to help in different emergency situations. EDS volunteers will serve as second responders in an emergency or natural disaster. The Salvation Army is training people to be a helping hand to first responders on the scene.
Lieutenant Rachel Johnson and her husband Lieutenant Aaron Johnson are officers at the Salvation Army. They said this training will prepare volunteers to know how to handle the different scenarios that can happen at a crisis or natural disaster site.
“Our goal is to train people when disasters happen in Tippecanoe County, to respond by providing sustenance to those affected by disasters and to police officers, and firefighters and to be spiritual and emotional support for people,” said Lieutenant Rachel.
Lieutenant Aaron said that it’s great to have lots of helping hands when a disaster happens but it’s important that everyone knows their place.
“You have to know you're place because it could get very confusing, literally if you have 20,000 people at some sort of disaster, everyone needs to know what they're doing,” said Lieutenant Aaron.
According to Lieutenant Rachel, there are six main jobs in a response system. The EDS volunteers could be responsible for any of them during a crisis and the training is in place to prepare them for it all.
“Some people will be responsible for keeping statistics of how many people are served. Some people will be responsible for being the liaison between those in crisis and the fire department. Some people will responsible for providing canned goods. So there are just tons of jobs in that. It just teaches people to professionally respond,” said Lieutenant Rachel.
The Salvation Army working to create an EDS team in Lafayette comes after seeing a need for more crisis volunteers during the recent hurricane on the east coast.
“People who are trained in the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services are not just trained to respond to disasters in Tippecanoe County but anywhere in the Salvation Army,” said Lieutenant Rachel.
The couple welcomes everyone with a desire to help, to come to the training.
“Everyone who wants to serve can serve. We never want to turn anyone away, we believe everyone has a gift that they can use in the Salvation Army. Everyone has a place at the Salvation Army,” said Lieutenant Rachel.
Training starts on Oct 13 from 8 to 4 pm. To register, call Lieutenant Rachel at the Salvation Army the deadline is Oct 10. Lunch will be provided.