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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Upcoming VIM Events

    Team Leader Trainings
    Early Response Team (ERT) Training

    Upcoming Courses
    What Do ERT Teams Do?


    Team Leader Trainings


    There are no team leader training sessions scheduled at this time. When offered, these trainings are valuable for anyone interested in being either a team leader or a more effective participant. Having a trained team leader not only promotes more effective teamwork, but is essential to obtain team insurance, grants, or scholarships for team members.

    Early Response Team (ERT) Training

    UMCOR’s Early Response Teams (ERT) provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of disaster. The training equips you to help communities clean up after a natural disaster - flood, tornado, hurricanes. ERTs carry out tasks such as damage assessment, debris removal, placing tarps on homes, and helping to prevent further damage. This training credentials you to enter disaster zones. An ERT badge is issued by UMCOR to applicants over the age of 18 after successful completion of the course and a background check. Badges are valid for 3 years. Individuals need not be United Methodist to take the training.

    Upcoming Courses

    There are upcoming training sessions. For more information, contact class facilitators Roger and Donna Cullen at

    • Feb. 29 at N. Chatham UMC, N. Chatham, NY near Albany. Click here to register.
    • May 16 at UNY Conference Center, 7481 Henry Clay Blvd., Liverpool, NY. Click here to register.

    What do UMCOR Early Response Teams Do?

    1. Provide a Christian presence. This does not sound like a task… and is NOT, however, it can be the MOST important thing a team can do.
    2. Take steps to prevent further damage to a family’s personal property (stabilize): Tarping, Debris removal, Cleaning out of flooded homes
    3. Teams may be asked to manage donated materials, gather information or other perform other tasks as deemed necessary by the community.
    4. Observe survivor’s needs and report these to the local operations.
    5. Be a part of the caring ministry of “listeners” who will help the survivor being to heal.

    What will you learn in an ERT class?

    • The Who, What, When, and Why of Early Response Teams
    • Working with survivors
    • Seven important things to know about disaster spiritual and emotional care
    • Organizational structure for the relief stage
    • Team safety
    • ERT protocols
    • Safe sanctuaries
    • Equipping an ERT

    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."