The role of the voluntary organisations in the National Service

The voluntary organisation, as envisaged by the law establishing the National Service of Civil Protection no. 225 dated 1992, is one of the operative structures, along with the Fire Brigade, the Armed Forces and Police, the Forestry Commission, technical services and scientific research, the Red Cross, the National Health System and the Mountain Rescue and Speleological Corps. Volunteers are one of the most vital components of the system: About 1 million people, distributed over the national territory, belong to organisations which operate in several specialist sectors.
The national list of the Department of Civil Protection contains over 4,000 organisations of which 3,868 local organisations created in various Italian regions.

The role of the volunteer associations is fundamental during an emergency: the voluntary service support department is one of the first to be activated and consists of an “administrative secretary” and a “volunteer coordinator”. The secretary manages the arrivals and departures of the volunteers, their disposal in the operative areas, records material and means, provides organisational and administrative support. The coordinator acquires and executes the needs of the Operating Room, convenes and activates specialised groups, determines the resources to be distributed to the voluntary forces, performs logistic supervision of the presences of the operators; activates the national and regional coordination, liaises with other bodies and institutions, manages the database of the organisations for operative purposes. In an emergency, the Voluntary Department liaises with all the other support departments in particular with the “assistance to the population”, “materials and means” and “telecommunications” departments.

Regulations on voluntary work in Italy