Get Involved and Volunteer

There are many ways that you can get involved- especially before a disaster. You can participate in programs and activities to make your family, home, and communities safer and more prepared. 

If a major disaster occurs and overwhelms first response agencies, trained volunteers that are affiliated with an organization can play important roles in disaster response and recovery.

Here are a few ways that you can help:

  • Inform others. 
  • Teach friends, family and coworkers about getting prepared, staying informed, and getting involved.
  • Request a free delivery of Until Help Arrives training for your neighborhood, faith based group, or organization. For more information about this training, please contact our office.
  • Volunteer on one of our Special Teams.
  • Help your neighbors.
  • Start a community preparedness project. More information at Serve.Gov.
  • Be an Informed Citizen.
    • Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) meetings are open to the public. The LEPC is a volunteer committee that meets to develop emergency response plans and provide information about chemicals in a community to citizens.
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Special Teams

The Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency has a variety of emergency management response teams that play key roles during disasters. These teams are made up of highly skilled and trained volunteers.

CCEMA Emergency Management Response Teams (Special Teams) are voluntary organizations which are established and maintained within CCEMA for operational support and are coordinated to ensure a broad coverage of assistance during emergencies.

They include:

Cumberland County Animal Response Team (CCART)

Our mission is to provide community awareness of disaster planning and preparedness related to companion animals and large animals, and to assist in emergency sheltering of companion animals. We operate under the direction of the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency Director and in coordination with the American Red Cross.


Under the direction of the Emergency Management Director, our team can be mobilized to provide pet friendly emergency sheltering in coordination with the American Red Cross human shelters. The pet shelter will be located within walking distance of the American Red Cross human shelter.


In the event of an emergency, you will be notified via television, radio, and Maine 2-1-1, which is Maine’s new emergency information hotline. You will be advised where the pet-friendly co-shelters are located.

Our Team

Our team consists of community members from Cumberland County who have received training in the U.S. Citizens Corps Community Emergency Response Team standards. The team then receives specialty training, incorporating best practices from the Humane Society of the United States and United Animal Nation.

We have also received training from the Federal Emergency Management Agency following the National Incident Management System guidelines. Some of our members have furthered their education in Technical Large Animal Rescue.

To learn more, please check out the CCART Facebook Page or contact Ron Jones, the CCART Liaison 207-892-6785 or

Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT)

IMAT Mission

The Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency’s Incident Management Assistance Team’s (IMAT) mission is to provide municipalities with Incident Command System (ICS) Command and General Staff assistance to manage large scale (multi-jurisdictional) or long duration (24 hours plus) incidents. These incidents include natural and human-caused events such as floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, aircraft crashes, Hazardous Materials (HazMat) releases, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)/Terrorism attacks, etc.

Who We Are

The Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA) IMAT Team has 35 members. The team is primarily comprised of seasoned public safety officials, public sector and former military individuals and has demonstrated that it can train, exercise, equip and sustain this capability.

What We Do

Often times an Incident Commanders (senior fire service or law enforcement officers) may lack the span of control, the endurance, or the ability to concurrently conduct current operations and planning for future operations because they lack the workforce to assist them. The Cumberland County IMAT is a resource the Incident Commander can call upon to provide this assistance and enable the Incident Commander to safely and effectively accomplish the mission. The team is also capable of assisting communities with planning for large or protracted events that a community may be contemplating.

Medical Reserve Corp (MRC)

The Medical Reserve Corps is a community-based, civilian volunteer program that helps build the public health and disaster response infrastructure of communities nationwide. MRC units help organize, train, and use local volunteers who choose to donate their time and expertise to promote healthy living and public health initiatives and prepare for and respond to public health and other emergencies.

MRC volunteers supplement existing local emergency and public health resources; volunteers include medical and public health professionals and other non-medical community members who fill vital support positions. Each MRC unit is organized and trained to address a wide range of all-hazards challenges from public health education to disaster response. As of August 2013, more than 980 MRC units and 270,000 volunteers existed nationwide. Each unit varies in size and functionality. Some MRC units are housed within local health departments (LHDs), universities, or emergency management agencies— other MRC units have organized as their own standing 501(c)3 organization. For more information about the MRC, please visit

Our Mission

Our four core missions are:

  • Support of the MeCDC Strategic National Stockpile, Mass Dispensing –Points Of Dispensing System (PODS)
  • Support of community-wide routine immunization efforts
  • A Functional Assessment Services Team to support the CCEMA Regional Disaster Sheltering Initiative along with partnering with the ARC to support certain additional regional disaster sheltering needs. 
  • Alternate Care Sites to include supporting hospitals and a Federal Medical Station Deployment, with staffing needs

For more information about the MRC, please contact Ron Jones, CCEMA MRC Unit Coordinator at 207-892-6785 or

Virtual Operation Support Team (VOST)

VOST is a team of trusted agents that are organized and directed by emergency management response organizations. VOST helps to organize, train, and engage volunteers who wish to put their technology and social media skills to use during emergencies and disasters.  

VOST assists with social media and web-based missions to enhance situational awareness. Because volunteers can be activated remotely, Cumberland County VOST may assist with missions in Cumberland County and beyond as requested.

VOST volunteers must have familiarity with, and accounts to access social media applications, as well as online collaboration tools (such as Gmail, Slack, and Google Sheets). 

For more information about VOST, or to request a volunteer application, please contact Emily Kaster, CCEMA VOST Coordinator at

Amateur Radio Teams

Amateur radio (ham radio) is a hobby and service in which licensed participants operate communications equipment. In a time of disaster when communications channels fail, ham radio operators assist with emergency communications efforts and work with public service agencies. There are more than 2000 amateur radio clubs across the county, and 2,000,000 operators worldwide. The Wireless Society of Southern Maine is a valuable communication partner to CCEMA. 

Wireless Society of Southern Maine (WSSM) 

WSSM brings together both new and experienced operators alike to share in the enjoyment of amateur radio, and also brings together their skills to encourage improvement in all the various phases of the hobby, including public service potential, operating ability, courtesy, and technical proficiency. Membership is open to all persons interested in radio communications. For more information, please visit the WSSM website

Southern Maine Community Organizations Active in Disaster (SMCOAD)

SMCOAD is an organization of people and businesses who have come together with three goals in mind.

  • To provide the public with disaster preparedness information
  • To operate a Volunteer Reception Center if a disaster were to occur. This allows volunteers to register and receive meaningful jobs that match their skills during disaster response.
  • To assist in coordinating a disaster recovery plan by bringing together private partnerships to assist those who need help.

By coming together in times without disaster, we can learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and help fill in any gaps in supports that might occur when people need help the most.

To learn more or get involved, please visit the SMCOAD Website.

Starting Fires

Youth Fire Safety & Intervention Collaborative

Program Mission: To reduce the incidence of fire-related loss of life, personal injury and property destruction in Cumberland County by assessing youth who are at risk of fire setting behavior, providing fire prevention education to the youth, their parent and referring families to appropriate services. 

Nationally, more than half of all intentionally set fires are started by youths under the age of 18. When a child or adolescent sets a fire and receives no intervention, there is a better than 50% chance he or she will set a second fire. If, in fact, a second fire is set, the chances are better than 80% that the fire setting will continue. Fires set by children are common and a problem affecting many families. While curiosity about fire is natural, fire setting is dangerous and deadly.

If your child is displaying fire setting behavior, you and your family are at higher risk for suffering the consequences of a fire. Remember, you are not the only parent to face this problem. ?If you discover evidence of a fire set by your child, or your child talks about setting fires, or is curious about fire; contact your local fire department or contact us at 207-894-3706 for help.