Last Tuesday, I drove myself and two of my colleagues/classmates to Bowmanville for an OVERT (Ontario Volunteer Emergency Response Team) orientation session. Volunteering for OVERT has been something I’ve been interested in for a while, but it wasn’t realistic until this year.
The orientation certainly convinced me it was something I wanted to do. OVERT acts as a 2nd tier of emergency response, mostly assisting in Search and Rescue operations in Ontario. Its members are able to attend tons of free training and even go abroad with the organization, as well as participate in various community events. You can join different teams, from Marine and Search and Rescue, and even Canine (although it’s apparently really hard to get on).
One of the reasons that I want to join OVERT so badly is that it would allow me to participate in the exciting, first-response aspect of emergency management, while having a higher-level type EM position as a day job. I didn’t realize until becoming an RA how much I love first-response, and now that I have, I want it to be part of my life. I don’t however, want it to be part of my everyday life, as a police officer or firefighter. Being able to respond to emergencies on a part-time, or volunteer basis, would be perfect for me.
Unfortunately, in order to join OVERT you need to be available for all training dates, and the first weekend falls on the same day as move-out, which I’m under contract to attend. I still may talk to my boss and see what he says, because this is something I really want to do.
In the meantime, I’m using my renewed enthusiasm to get pumped up for the exercises we have coming up in the next few weeks. Even though I wasn’t on the design team for these ones, I still feel just as invested, and can’t wait to see how they turn out!