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OEM Volunteer Units
 
The OEM, organizationally, divides the service offerings we provide into Units including the:
 
          Administrative Unit
          Auxiliary Police Unit
          Communications Unit
          Dive Team
          Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Unit
          Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Unit
          Logistics Unit
          Rehab Unit
          Rescue Support Unit
          Shelter Unit

The OEM also supports two very important Programs, they include:

          • The Neighborhood Watch Program
          • The Department’s Color Guard

Administrative Unit:

The Administrative Unit provides administrative support to the Department’s disaster planning and preparedness activities as well as working on special projects as determined by the Director. Some of the work completed by the Unit includes marketing activities such as the development of a Department Brochure, the design and maintenance of a web page, and the production of an LATV Show as well as volunteer and public awareness and training vignettes. They have done a great deal in the area of fundraising and running fund raising events. The Unit has also contributed to an overarching Shelter Plan, and is currently working with the Director and Administrative Assistant in developing shelter specific plans for each of the City’s eight shelters. The Administrative Unit is less than two years old but has proved itself as an integral and valued part of this Department.

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Auxiliary Police Unit:

The Auxiliary Police Unit has a dual reporting structure; it reports to both the Leominster Police Department and the OEM and is the only OEM Unit that has a dual reporting structure. They perform duties for the Police Department such as directed patrols and support such as traffic and crowd control for the many City sponsored planned events, such as the Johnny Appleseed Festival and the Summer and Winter Strolls. They are trained to the same standards as reserve/intermittent police officers as specified by the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee. Auxiliary Officers get their police powers when they are activated by the Police Department.
 
Auxiliary officers provide extra eyes and ears for the Police Department when they are on patrol. When on duty they are assigned directed patrol assignments and/or may be assigned to a law enforcement action as determined by the need. While on directed patrol they are assigned the security and well being of City owned and other properties while also being focused on parking enforcement. Auxiliary Officers participate in a ride along program with the Leominster Police Department and are often assigned special duties as determined by the Police Department’s Officer in Charge (OIC).

Although the Auxiliary Police experience can be very rewarding for the volunteer it is also very demanding in terms of background investigation, training and fiscal expense. To even be considered for an Auxiliary police position a candidate must have been a graduate of an approved MMPTC intermittent part-time Police Academy Program.

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Communications Unit:

The Communications Unit is one of the most important Units to the overall success of OEM, especially during a major emergency or disaster as it serves as the communications link between the EOC and our City’s first responders and between the City and outside resources such as the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Federal government and private resources. Members of the Communications Unit work and maintain the public safety radio system with the local government and the private sector, eleven frequencies in all, and ARES, RACES and MARS Systems. We will train members to become OEM public safety dispatchers and call-takers (people who take telephone calls and distribute the information to the appropriate EOC party). ARES, RACES and MARS operators must be licensed to operate on these frequencies or work with someone who is licensed, we can train both. Besides our radio systems, the Communications Unit is also responsible for the Department’s telephone system and our computer network.

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Dive Team (Underwater Recovery):

According to the National Dive Museum, the Leominster OEM Dive Team was the first, organized non-military dive team in the United States and our first Dive Master, Gene Parker, is credited with developing the current International Dive Flag. The International Dive Flag is the red flag with the white diagonal line which is used to identify to boaters that a diver is submerged underwater in the vicinity of the flag. Our dive team consists of eight public safety certified divers and three boat tenders. Our dive team is available to work with local and regional public safety dive teams or as a unit that can complete a recovery on their own. Our divers hold a number of certifications including instructors, dive masters and equipment repair specialist. They also have a number of pieces of equipment to use in their diving including a rescue boat with motor, a hovercraft, under-water communications equipment, underwater lighting, camera equipment and side scan sonar to mention a few. We also have two members who are certified cadaver dog owners and they make their dogs available to the team. We have also conducted underwater inspections of drinking water supplies including tanks for local water departments.

If you are interested in joining our dive team you must have your own diving equipment and be a certified diver, we do provide training and can certify divers in specialty areas.

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Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Unit:

Our EMS Unit is comprised of EMTs and Certified First Responders and train to provide EMS Services in support of our first responders at the scene. As part of their training they provide EMS services in the form of first aid stations at every one of the City’s planned events including the Johnny Appleseed Festival, the Summer and Winter Strolls, the Apple Blossom Festival, Halloween parades, the Scarecrow Festival and many other events. They provide the same services to a number of privately sponsored functions as well including the Starburst Festival, road races, junior Olympics and others. With the exception of EMT training we provide all the training you will need to participate as an active member of our EMS Unit.

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Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Unit:

The EOC Unit is one of three new volunteer units that the Department is developing and we will soon be prepared to offer training to new members. The Unit includes the specialty positions needed to support an EOC management and operations team. Initially a lot of time will be spent training and exercising but once we are comfortable in our positions this Unit may meet two or three times per year to train and exercise. This Unit will only be activated during a major emergency or disaster so commitment is a must.

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Logistics Unit:

This is the second of the three new Units that the Department is developing. This Unit will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of equipment and to ensure minimal levels of supplies are maintained and are available for use during a major emergency or disaster. Another responsibility will include the responsibility for emergency facilities during a major emergency or disaster such as the Emergency Management building.

During emergencies or disasters the Logistics Unit will oversee the management of Departmental resources to ensure we are getting the maximum benefits from all our resources.

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Rehab Unit:

The OEM Rehab Unit is responsible for the delivery of food services to our first responders and victims during major emergencies or disasters in Leominster and the region. This service is particularly welcomed by our first responders whenever they are required to respond to an emergency during adverse weather conditions such as extreme heat or cold. The Unit is a support service to the Mid-State Mutual Aid and the Statewide Fire Mobilization Systems. The Unit is available for crime scene investigations or accident reconstruction and by Public Works Departments who may be called out to repair a water or sewer pipe break. The Rehab Unit is our busiest Unit.

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Rescue Support Unit:

The Rescue Support Unit is that group of volunteers who provide pumps and pumping assistance, sandbags and sandbagging during periods of flooding, generators during loss of power (this service is focused on people who are on life support systems), they operate chainsaws and set-up tents and canopies as required. This is probably the most physically demanding of all OEM Units.

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Shelter Unit:

The last of our new Units, the Shelter Unit is responsible for the management and operations of the City’s eight disaster shelters. The members of this Unit have the responsibility of providing care to members of our community who have been forced out of their homes due to a natural or man-made disaster. Evacuees have been traumatized by the need to evacuate their homes and who may not know the whereabouts of missing family members so providing comfort to these people is a requirement. Another group who need our attention is our elderly and special needs populations. Thankfully Shelter Unit is not called upon very often but when they are the work can be hard but it is also very rewarding.

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