Spartanburg Emergency Management looking to recruit new volunteers for potentially busy storm season

The division is recruiting volunteers, training them to become supplemental staff and fill in when EMS workers are called into the field to help the community.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 1:56 AM EDT
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Spartanburg County’s Emergency Management Division says they’re looking to beef up their volunteer force as we head into the thick of storm season.

Experts say the Southeast could see more named storms then we have in a long time this year, which is why local officials say: it pays to be prepared.

Spartanburg’s EMS coordinator Robbie Swofford says they’ve seen more EOC activations in the last couple years than in his first 15 with the department.

He says that’s made them realize they could use extra hands on deck.

Swofford says it all started just before the pandemic in 2019 with them just needing extra bodies for search and rescue teams. But then the began training volunteers to act as supplemental staff--for when paid EMS employees are called out into the community during weather events.

“We’re always looking to beef up volunteers; have more volunteers in here, get more people plugged in,” Swofford said. “Our members have a lot of opportunities to train and/or actually assist people in real life.”

“We’re tracking those storm systems. We’re logging trees down, roadways blocked, traffic accidents, fires, and downed power lines,” added volunteer neighbor Mark Yerkes. “The more hands, the less stress there is on those working all the time.”

Yerkes says he got involved through friends and word of mouth in 2019, but decided to stay on when he realized he was making a difference.

He says more volunteers means EMS can get to you out in the community quicker and more efficiently if you need urgent help.

He also says they’re actively recruiting fellow community members, especially because of what could be on the horizon this summer.

If you’re interested, you can read more about volunteer opportunities, and even sign up on the EMD website:

EMS website: