On Nov. 18, Capt. Alfredo Fuentes, FDNY (Ret.) addressed the state deputies about the Order’s new Second Responders Program, which was announced at the Supreme Convention held in Denver last August. As consultant to the supreme knight for disaster relief, Fuentes is developing the program that will help K of C councils to effectively support their communities when faced with a disaster, whether natural or manmade.
“Disasters can only be responded to with a team effort,” Fuentes said. “You are so critical for the success of this program. You will all have a part in its development.”
Fuentes explained that there are already plans underway to survey members and create a database of volunteer capabilities, including identification of supplies, facilities, personal skills and experience.
The program will first be launched in the United States, and then expand to other jurisdictions. The Supreme Council will soon accept applications for a disaster response coordinator for each state, and is developing a disaster response training program with the help the University of Connecticut.
In addition to providing a critical service to communities, the Second Responders Program has the potential to attract new members, Fuentes said. “Individuals wanting to leave a mark,” he said, “will be drawn to the Order’s emphasis on action and charity.”