Early Response Team Training


The immediate aftermath of a disaster s known as the Rescue Phase. In that time emergency responders are at work searching for and rescuing survivors as well as stabilizing the infrastructure to make it safer and possible for the next phase, which is called the Relief Phase. If the disaster is within your own community or if the disaster is not classified a state or federal emergency, volunteers may offer to assist in the clean-up efforts, serving only with the permission of the affected community.

However, in major disasters, it is necessary that those who volunteer to help in the Relief Phase produce documentation that they have been trained by a recognized agency and are familiar with the protocols, what they can do, and more importantly, what they cannot do. UMCOR's Early Response Team Training has long been recognized by state Emergency Management officials, F.E.M.A., and Homeland Security as being among the best trained. Our reputation is highly regarded when teams are needed to help with the clean-up and assisting survivors.

To respond as an Annual Conference two things must happen.

  • First, we must be invited to assist in the Relief Phase. Coordination is crucial in this early time after a disaster. Too many volunteers become a distraction and a hindrance to relief efforts. 
  • Second, teams and individuals must have an UMCOR badge with a valid date. The initial training is approximately an 8 hour course explaining the role of Early Response Teams (ERT) in a major disaster. An UMCOR badge is valid for 3 years. After that time, there is a recertification course that requires a commitment of 4 hours.

Hosting an ERT Training Event

If your church would like to host an ERT Training Event:

  1. Complete the ERT Training request form. Make sure you suggest at least two possible dates for the training. We will try to accommodate your request depending on the availability of a trainer.  
  2. Also, download the "Hosting Requirements" file to see what needs to be done prior to the class so that the entire time can be spent on training. 


New Guideline for ERT Training

The process of preparing badges for those who have gone through ERT training is not an instant process.  In order to reduce confusion and the delay that occasionally happens in delivery of ERT Badges, we are establishing the following Guideline:

In order to participate in ERT Training and receive a badge, the required background check must be completed and submitted to E.S.S. BEFORE the scheduled date of the class.  In the past failure to submit background check forms in a timely manner have created problems and delays.  There will be no exceptions to this policy.  We truly hope this will expedite you receiving your badges.





If you have more questions please contact the Conference Disaster Coordinator Rev. Randy Burbank at 205-907-2657 or by email. 

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