YOKOSUKA, Japan -- In response to COVID-19, Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) created the CFAY Community Information and Resource Call Center (CIRCC), a call center that assists the CFAY community in receiving information related to base-wide business hours, available services, current base policies, and more.
The CIRCC was developed and implemented as a contingency operation to function similar to an Emergency Family Assistance Center (EFAC).
“In late February, the Fleet and Family Support Center and the installation commander, Capt. Rich Jarrett, discussed the possibility of activating the EFAC in response to COVID-19,” said Senior Chief Aviation Maintenance Administrationman (AZCS) Patrick Crockford, Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) Family Assistance Support Team (FAST) officer in charge.
“While reviewing EFAC standard operating procedures, we identified that the EFAC was not the best tool for the job,” said Crockford. “With that, the FFSC and the FAST were tasked with developing an alternative.”
The CIRCC team, which consists of 15 Sailors and civilians, answer phone calls, emails and messages on social media from the CFAY community 16 hours a day, seven days a week with special hours for urgent assistance.
“A majority of the questions are rooted in available base services, clarification of permissible activities during the modified shelter in place, and referral to counselling and support services,” said Crockford.
During its first 24 hours of operation, the CIRCC team assisted 121 community members, roughly one every 12 minutes. Since first opening, that number has grown significantly.
“The CIRCC has received 518 phone calls and 583 emails so far,” said Crockford. “The CIRCC Facebook page has proven extremely effective. In just under a month, we are approaching 500 followers and have reached over 17,000 viewers.”
Members of the CIRCC team say the call center is vital for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The CIRCC provides an indirect line of communication with service providers and the CFAY commanding officer,” added Crockford. “The CIRCC has proven itself to be a highly effective tool, not only for COVID-19 response, but an enduring operation whose functions can be modified to meet the need of the community and current events.”
For 75 years, CFAY has provided, maintained, and operated base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet's forward-deployed naval forces, tenant commands, and thousands of military and civilian personnel and their families.