Survey respondents and interview participants placed lesser importance on Crises and Disaster Services than other service categories. Within the Crisis and Disaster Services category, survey respondents placed the most importance on violence and crime, and this is where they also indicated the greatest gap between perceived importance and needs being met.
Greenwich relies heavily on volunteers for essential town services, including crisis and disaster response. For example, the Greenwich Fire Department has approximately 100 career members and 85 volunteers. Similarly, the Police Department relies on 30 volunteers, each serving 4 hours per month to supplement the force. These volunteers are highly valued; however, there is recognition of the vulnerability associated with a reliance on volunteers. For example, it is a challenge to maintain consistent levels of certification across professional and volunteer emergency responders. Thus, an important long-term question to consider is how to maintain these essential volunteers and quality of service?
Interviewees also talked about the value and importance of maintaining collaboration and coordination between emergency responders and service providers.