RIEMA’S Joseph Cournoyer Honored By 2-1-1 at State House
“February 11 is National 2-1-1 Day. 2-1-1 reaches approximately 246 million people (82% of the total U.S. population) in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, And, here in Rhode Island, we're working hard to help people in need” stated Anthony Maione, President and CEO of the United Way. RIEMA’s Joseph Cournoyer was presented with the 2-1-1 award, a 2-1-1 poster signed by everyone at United Way and a desk clock engraved with his name. The ceremony took place Thursday afternoon at the State House. He is being recognized for his work with 2-1-1, being on the Advisory committee since the inception of 2-1-1 in 2007, and activating and communicating necessary information to 2-1-1 during the floods of 2010.
As you may know, by dialing 2-1-1 Rhode Islanders can get access to thousands of human services agencies and organizations throughout our state. It is the fastest and easiest way to get the help people need in these tough times. This is why it's important to spread the word about the benefits of dialing 2-1-1 and getting connected to a specialist who offers free, confidential and local assistance.
2-1-1 also provides useful information about the level of need in our community. For example, in 2010, 2-1-1 handled more than 152,000 calls, which is an increase of 39,000 calls over the previous year. These numbers are significant and reveal the need right now in our community. Also, with the economic downturn, 2-1-1 operators are receiving calls from Rhode Islanders who find themselves in need for the first time.
Working closely with RIEMA, 2-1-1 also played a critical role in the response to the historic floods in March 2010. 2-1-1 handled 33,000 calls in the first 30 days after the flood and called over 15,000 individuals back to ensure they received the assistance they needed. 2-1-1 is also providing long-term recovery assistance to people affected by the flood.
The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, and local resources to protect the public during disasters and emergencies. RIEMA helps develop plans for effective response to all hazards, trains emergency personnel, provides information to families and communities, and assists in recovery from disaster losses. You can learn more about RIEMA by visiting the RIEMA homepage at www.riema.ri.gov