Emergency Services
Abby Watkins
306 North Street, PO Box 885
White Cloud, MI 49349

M-F 8am-5pm

Phone: 231) 689-7354 Fax: (231) 689-7305

Volunteer Opportunities



Newaygo County Emergency Services Department is looking for dedicated volunteers interested in helping emergency responders save lives, protect property, and improve emergency preparedness and safety within the community. Team members have a variety of different backgrounds and skills and are trained to assist local emergency responders in a variety of different areas.




An organized and efficient response to a large scale emergency depends on the active participation of members of the community. When members of the community show up to help with no formal training, it can overwhelm and clog the response efforts. By getting trained, you will have the knowledge and skills to help with specific disaster response activities and can help emergency responders save lives and protect property.   


Under the direction of the Newaygo County Emergency Services Department, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) programs train team members in basic response skills. Team members also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community. All volunteers are respected members of the team and an integral part of the county's Emergency Management System.


CERT - Who are we?




An organized and efficient response to a large scale emergency depends on the active participation from members of the community. With formal training, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) team members have the knowledge and skills to help save lives and protect property. Team Members are trained to assist local emergency responders in the following areas:

  • Search and Rescue
  • First Aid Stations
  • Traffic Control
  • Damage Assessment
  • Evacuation
  • Emergency Shelter Operations
  • Organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site
  • General Emergency Management duties

During large community events, the CERT and MRC Teams also help promote emergency preparedness and provide incident safety, traffic control, medical first aid, and communications.


In 2013, Team Members were involved with the following events

  • 3 Search and Rescue missions
  • 2 Flood Response missions
  • Michigan Canoe and Kayak Association PowerPaddle Race
  • Newaygo County Kids Day
  • Gerber Baby Food Festival
  • United States Canoe Association National Championship Races
  • Tornado Response mission
  • Tamarac Turkey Trot




CERT and MRC team member Mark Dulyea has been involved since 2010. “The Team is a group of everyday people trying to make a difference in our Community. We have a desire and want to help others. The greatest thing for me is knowing when something happens I have team members that I can trust to run towards the disaster with me and not away from it. Together everyone achieves more.”   

CERT and MRC volunteer April Richardson stated “I joined the team to make a difference. I enjoy being a part of an organization that has your best interest and the best interest of the community at heart. My favorite part of being a member of CERT and MRC so far has been being able to be a part of a group effort in finding a lost child in the woods and reuniting her with her parents.”


Top 10 Reasons to become a CERT and MRC Team Member:

  1. Make a difference
  2. Help people in a time of need
  3. Learn what to do during an emergency
  4. Gain valuable training, skills, and experience
  5. Become part of a bigger family
  6. Connect with your community
  7. Build new relationships while having fun
  8. Strengthen your resume
  9. Help strengthen community preparedness
  10. Contribute to a cause that you care about




The CERT and MRC Teams have built a strong partnership with local emergency first responders and community leaders. During community events, the CERT and MRC Team has helped provide incident safety, traffic control, medical first aid, and communications. Here’s what they have to say:


“The team has proven valuable to the Fire Services of Newaygo County in multiple facets. They have been utilized on several incident scenes as well as high profile training and events which promote community involvement and safety. Their willingness to support the activities of emergency services in Newaygo County will continue to be a valuable asset in the future.”

Jason Wolford, Captain

Newaygo Fire Department


 “CERT has been an invaluable resource in utilizing trained individuals to assist in large scale events or searches. Recently, we had a missing child that required a large area to be searched on foot.  Without the trained personnel of CERT, it would have been much more difficult to organize the large number of volunteers needed in conducting the search.”

Brian Boyd, Undersheriff

Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office


 “The Newaygo Nationals Association depends on the CERT and MRC teams to protect the safety of professional and amateur athletes from around the world as we hold competitive paddling events on the Muskegon River. The team has displayed great planning, execution, and most importantly attitude, making them an inseparable partner with Newaygo Nationals.  We know our visitors from around the world will have the best safety protection available.”

Scott Faulkner, Executive Committee

Newaygo Nationals Association




Membership Requirements

All persons wishing to volunteer must be at least 16 years of age and have a willingness to help the community.



All persons wishing to join the team must complete a volunteer application. The application is available by contacting the Newaygo County Emergency Services Department or by clicking on the application link at the bottom of this page.


Background Check

All volunteers must pass a background check in accordance with the Region 6 Background Check Policy.


Required Training

All team members are required to complete a CERT 20 hour basic training course and 10 hours of online independent study training through FEMA prior to participating in any emergency responses.


Active Membership

In order to be authorized to respond to an emergency, team members must maintain an active membership status. Active members have completed their required training and regularly participate in team activities including trainings, preparedness booths, community events, and deployments.


“Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless.”

~Sherry Anderson            

Page Resources

Volunteer Application
Background Check Policy

CERT - Who We Are
CERT - MRC Brochure

Muskegon River Watch Information and Sign up