HARRISBURG, Pa., April 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Health is encouraging residents to join the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Pennsylvania (SERVPA) during "Volunteer Week," being observed statewide April 15-21.
"Whether making a difference in their own community or traveling elsewhere to help during a disaster, Pennsylvanians are not afraid to put the needs of others before their own," said Dr. Eli Avila, Secretary of Health. "As we all saw during last year's devastating floods, we cannot underestimate the value of volunteerism."
Governor Tom Corbett proclaimed Volunteer Week to honor the many acts of volunteerism performed every day by Pennsylvanians. The proclamation praised the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Pennsylvania, also known as SERVPA.
Coordinated by the Department of Health, SERVPA is a secure, statewide database of registered, pre-credentialed volunteers who can be called upon during major disasters or public health emergencies. Approximately 10,500 medical and non-medical volunteers are currently registered.
The ultimate goal of SERVPA is to engage volunteers in local emergency service and respond to requests for emergency assistance from other states. It was established in response to a federal order to enhance the nation's disaster-response capability.
Pennsylvanians interested in registering to volunteer through SERVPA should visit online at https://www.serv.pa.gov.
National Volunteer Week was established in 1974.
Media contact: Christine Cronkright, 717-787-1783
Editor's Note: The text of Governor Corbett's proclamation follows:
VOLUNTEER WEEK – April 15-21, 2012
WHEREAS, Volunteers have long been a vital part of Pennsylvania history. In the nearly 225 years since Pennsylvania first became a state, our volunteers have always willingly sacrificed their time – and sometimes their lives – to help keep others safe; and
WHEREAS, whether it's helping to make their communities healthier during times of peace or traveling to where the need is greatest during natural or manmade disasters, Pennsylvanians are always ready to volunteer in order to make a difference; and
WHEREAS, the service and selfless dedication of these individuals makes a tremendous difference in the lives of countless people every day – most recently during the major, widespread flooding that impacted our state in 2011; and
WHEREAS, thousands of health care professionals and other individuals are part of the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Pennsylvania, or SERVPA, and stand ready to volunteer their services during a disaster or public health emergency; and
WHEREAS, this spirit of devotion and willingness to help others will continue to keep Pennsylvania strong and help us survive, respond to and recover from future emergencies.
WHEREAS, in special recognition of the importance of volunteers across Pennsylvania, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim April 15-21, 2012, as VOLUNTEER WEEK in Pennsylvania. I strongly encourage all Pennsylvanians to help me honor and thank our remarkable volunteers for their many achievements and generosity.
TOM CORBETT, Governor
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health