The delta of records | Buckhannon VIPS recognized by city council
BUCKHANNON – The Buckhannon Volunteers in Police Service program, better known as VIPS, was recognized for its outstanding year of service in 2021 at the last city council meeting on Monday, December 20.
The VIPS program is a group of ordinary citizens who are deeply committed to giving back to their community through exemplary volunteer service. Members of this program are a highly skilled and motivated force of volunteers who assist in the performance of safe policing duties in the community. The main duties of a VIPS member are to support and assist the local police department when called upon. This may include assisting in parades, assisting with community events, assisting with crowd management, handling traffic during accidents and events, searching / canvassing missing persons, assist with administrative duties, attend community events, assist police officers with information kiosks, provide security for emergency scenes and assist officers with investigations when deemed necessary.
Buckhannon’s VIPS program had 15 members at the start of 2021. During the year, seven members were deactivated and two new members signed up, bringing the current total of VIPS program participants to 10. In 2021, VIPS members have registered more than 2,175 cumulative members. volunteer hours, which allowed city police officers to take on other duties and calls. Using the current estimate for one hour of volunteer work ($ 24 per hour), the value of volunteer work donated by VIPS members in 2021 is estimated to be over $ 52,000.
The current 10 members are up to date with their training, which is a huge amount of work. In order to volunteer alongside the police, members of the VIPS program must first undergo extensive training in various aspects of ethics, basic medical response, search and rescue procedures, tactics. fire extinguishing, traffic and crowd management strategies, and management of mass casualties. Each member is required to complete over 80 hours of hands-on training to master safety and emergency response protocols. Members are also expected to complete the Buckhannon Citizen Police Training Academy, first aid and CPR training, community emergency response team training, as well as various national systems training courses. management of incidents to prepare them for work in the field.
Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory said: “It is important that we recognize our volunteers for the time and effort they have put into helping the town. VIPS is a dynamic program. Each year the impact and role they play grows to encompass more events and help more emergencies. “
In 2021, the VIPS program was faced with the cancellation or postponement of 12 events. Despite the relatively high number of changes to their event calendar, VIPS still managed to participate in 136 public and private events, including 45 related to public health, and for the first time in the history of the program, 3 were local emergency response events. The three local emergency response events that VIPS members responded to were the recent flooding as well as the two fires on Main Street. As things are heading back to normal, VIPS members expect the 2022 Events Calendar to keep them busy.
To become a VIPS member, one must be over 18 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, be a resident of Upshur County, be of good character, have no criminal record, in sufficient physical condition to perform the duties required and be prepared to commit to at least eight hours of volunteer work per month.