Q: Why is EVP necessary?
A: The Emergency Volunteers Project was formed in Israel and is also a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization in the US, whose purpose is to provide assistance for the State of Israel during times of emergency. An emergency can take many forms, including natural disasters, large terrorism incidents or war with her neighbors. EVP accomplishes its mission by supplementing and reinforcing Israel’s existing emergency relief and rescue organizations with trained professional and non-professional personnel from abroad in order to help the people of Israel save lives, preserve some semblance of normal life and relieve, as much as possible, the immense stress under which the civilian population is forced to live during emergency situations.
The Emergency Volunteers Project (EVP) was established in Israel to support and protect the citizens and the land of Israel, regardless of their religious, cultural or political persuasion. Our mission is to recruit, train and deploy dedicated individuals who will serve as a backup force for Emergency Responders in Israel. Once training has been completed, volunteers partner with Israel's emergency services (Firefighters, Medical and Community Operations), providing essential life-saving aid to Israel's civilian population during times of emergency.
Q: Why should I join EVP instead of other organizations that support Israel?
A: EVP has been sanctioned as a working partner with the State of Israel as a preferred organization to bring volunteers to Israel in times of emergency. When other organizations or individuals may be entirely on their own, EVP receives critical life support from the State of Israel, including lodging, food and transportation. EVP has a history of deploying Responders every year since 2010, including during Operation Protective Edge. In addition, EVP has been placed on emergency activation alert multiple times since 2010. EVP conducts active training deployments, helping the people of Israel. EVP has received special recognition from the State of Israel for our service to Israel. In addition, EVP has been featured on CNN, CBN, TBN, Israeli news outlets including Chanel 2, Channel 10, Times of Israel (Yedioth Ahronoth), Y-net, Haaretz, and more. See what others are saying about EVP by going to our Media page (make "Media page" a hyperlink).
Q: What types of volunteers do you need?
A: EVP volunteers are needed with a wide variety of background and skills: firefighters, technical rescue personnel, doctors, nurses, paramedics, Physician’s Assistants (PA), social workers, engineers, trades professionals, as well as men and women without these specific skills who can work within the community to provide assistance in bomb shelters and municipal water authorities and emergency and warehouse facilities. Volunteers are divided into two general types: EVP Responders and the EVP Volunteers. EVP Responders are those who meet deployment requirements and are interested in going to Israel in times of emergency. EVP Volunteers are those who are either unable or unwilling to deploy to Israel in times of emergency, but provide valuable support to Israel.
Q: How do I become a volunteer?
A: All candidates to be an EVP volunteer must complete the application process and be certified as an EVP volunteer. Once an candidate has completed the prequalification form, (make this a hot link to the Prequalification form) an EVP Membership Application will be e-mailed to the candidate to complete. The completed application, along with the EVP membership dues, must be submitted and, if accepted, the candidate will be notified. Until the background check is complete, applicants are considered provisional EVP members. With a clear background check, the candidate will be certified as an EVP volunteer.
Q: What is the difference between a volunteer and a responder?
A: A volunteer is anyone with a heart for Israel who wants to help EVP, regardless of the service they provide. A responder is one who has been trained to deploy to Israel during times of emergency. All Responders are volunteers, but not all Volunteers are responders.
Q: What if I am older of younger than the age requirement (21-60)?
A: Someone younger may be able to help EVP and Israel, but each applicant will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Those as young as 18 may be able to volunteer and train, but will not be able to be a Responder until they turn 21. In no case will someone younger than 18 be able to volunteer. Those older than 60 can also become a valuable member of EVP, and may be able to deploy as a Responder, but deployability will be determined on a number of factors, including skills, health and physical condition. The EVP Auxiliary is designed for those who love Israel, but either cannot or do not want to deploy.
Q: If I am not professionally trained how can I help EVP?
A: All Firefighters and Medical personnel much be professionally trained and certified in their area of expertise in order to be a Responder. Those not professionally trained and certified can still help Israel and EVP through either the Community Operations teams or the EVP Auxiliary.
Q: What does it cost to become an EVP volunteer?
A: a one time application fee of $150 is required.
The one-time $150 membership activation fee covers the application process, certification by EVP and the State of Israel, first year access to all on-line training resources, unlimited attendance at local EVP training courses in the US (transportation and lodging are at volunteer expense), and the initial background check.
Q: What are the qualifications to deploy as a Firefighter Responder?
A: To qualify as a Firefighter Responder, you must be a professional firefighter with a least one year of professional experience, must be currently employed as a firefighter and must currently hold all required certifications.
Q: What are the qualifications to deploy as a Medical Responder?
A: To qualify as a Medical Responder, you must be a employed in your profession with a least one year of professional experience and must currently hold all required certifications.
Q: What are the qualifications to deploy as a Community Responder?
A: Community Responders do not need to hold any professional certifications; however, Community Responders must complete the basic EVP training requirements within the first year.
Q: Can I be removed or disqualified as an EVP volunteer or responder?
A: Yes, EVP volunteers can be suspended or disqualified from EVP membership if actions are not consistent with the EVP Code of Conduct. The EVP Code of Conduct can be found here (make "here" a hyperlink to the EVP Code of Conduct). Volunteers are required to notify EVP if any of the situations listed in the Code of Conduct occur.
Q: Is there an EVP Chapter near me?
A: EVP has chapters in many areas around the US, and is continuing to form new chapters. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to find a chapter near you. If you are interested in starting a chapter, click here (make "here" a hyperlink to the start a new chapter page).
Q: What is a Personal Profile Page?
A: The EVP Personal Profile Page is designed to allow volunteers and responders to provide information about themselves and provide a vehicle to obtain financial support for training for emergency deployments. Creating a Personal Profile page also gives certified EVP members access to training, information and resources available to members only.
Q: Where is training held and how often?
A: US and Israel training courses will be provided at various times and locations during the year. In addition, EVP offers many on-line training resources that are available to certified EVP members only.
Q: What will an emergency deployment be like?
A: Emergency deployments can be emotionally and physically taxing to the Responder. Living conditions, depending on the nature of the emergency, may be austere, with long days and stressful situations. All Responders must be physically fit and emotionally ready to deal with the stress of emergency situations, including helping first responders with victims having significant physical injury. Lodging, meals and transportation will be determined in each case, but may be in a group setting.
Q: How long is a typical emergency deployment?
A: A typical deployment covers 10-14 days, including travel to and from Israel.
Q: Can EVP guarantee my safety on a deployment or during training course?
A: Participating as an EVP volunteer requires some risk. EVP does everything we can to minimize risk, but cannot guarantee there will be no risk. Each EVP volunteer, and their families must understand and accept this fact.
Q: What happens if I am injured or killed while deployed?
A: EVP, through the State of Israel, will provide medical and casualty insurance for all EVP Responders. Deployment coverage starts from the time you leave your home until the time you return back to your home. Specific coverage amounts are determined by a panel of doctors in Israel, using the same standards as used for Israeli responders. Coverage includes medical costs related to injury while deployed, as well as death and dismemberment coverage for injuries sustained while deployed. EVP also provides similar insurance while training at an EVP-sponsored course. Details of the coverage will be provided once the applicant is accepted as an EVP volunteer.
Q: Where will I be deployed in an emergency?
A: Because the nature, type and scope of emergencies, the location cannot be known beforehand. EVP Responders will be deployed to the area(s) of greatest need at that time. Deployment can be to any location within Israel. Once an activation has been requested, EVP will provide any information we can, but Responders must understand that for Operational Security (OPSEC) reasons, we may not be able to provide detailed information.
Q: When will I be deployed? How will I know if I am to be deployed?
A: Emergency activation and deployment is determined by the State of Israel. The appropriate Ministry will determine the level of support required, where those resources will be deployed and when deployments will be necessary. Potential Responders will be contacted to see whether they can deploy and how quickly. From this, a list of Responders will be developed, including the number of waves of deployment, and will be notified to begin the deployment process. As dictated by the unfolding situation, the number of waves may increase or could decrease.
Q: How much notice will I have before deployment?
A: Those on the initial deployment wave will be required to begin their travel within 12-48 hours after activation. Those on subsequent deployment waves will have 5-10 days notice.
Q: What costs are covered by EVP during emergency deployment?
A: EVP will use donations to cover the deployment for those EVP will activate. Each Responder is responsible for any transportation to and from their nearest airport, including any parking fees. Responders should plan to bring some money with them, changing to New Israeli Shekels (NIS), to cover incidentals costs.
Q: What if I cannot deploy immediately?
A: Depending on the nature of the emergency, more than one deployment wave may be necessary. Those who cannot deploy immediately can be considered for subsequent waves or post-incident deployment when scheduled by EVP based on need.
Q: What should I bring on a deployment?
A: EVP has prepared a full list of recommended items to bring on a deployment to Israel. These lists include your carry on bag (make "carry on bag" a hyperlink to this list), checked baggage (make "checked baggage" a hyperlink to this list), and a Day Bag (make "Day Bag" a hyperlink to this list). These lists have been developed based on experience gained during previous deployments.
Q: How can I communicate with my family while I am deployed?
A: On emergency deployments, Responders and their families may be able to contact each other directly (e.g., e-mail, Skype, WhatsApp, etc.), but it may not be possible at times. On each emergency activation, EVP will establish a point of contact in the US that families can contact if they can't communicate directly. This EVP representative will serve as the bridge between Responders and their families.
Q: Can I post to social media while I am deployed?
A: While on an emergency deployment EVP Responders and volunteers are not permitted to post to social media for operational security (OPSEC) reasons. EVP's social media policy can be found here (make "here" a hyperlink to the social media policy.
Q: Are there non-emergency deployments?
A: Yes, EVP conducts non-emergency training deployments to Israel to learn how to provide assistance using Israeli methods (often different from those in the US), while at the same time serving the people of Israel. Non-emergency deployments also serve as an indicator for Responders to understand what an emergency deployment may be like.