Previously, he'd thought a communications reserve, such as RACES and a Radio Officer, were not necessary or important. After a couple of "it can't happen here" experiences that presented the possibility that he might lose all local government communications with no backup, he changed his perspective to one of being highly supportive of a RACES program. His overall summary was: "I don't know WHO I need or WHAT I need to accomplish a solution in such events. With the Radio Officer I have the one person to go to in order to solve that situation."
In recent California statewide exercises, participation and mutual aid interest increased where Region Radio Officers made personal contacts with the county RACES Radio Officers, the county Emergency Coordinators, and the Department of Forestry Volunteers-in-Prevention ham radio coordinators in their State OES Region. A similar increase in interest most likely can apply on a local level as well. Your sincere interest and providing something important to do invites increased participation. This, in turn, tests hands-on-operations abilities and improves readiness for unexpected stress-creating emergencies.
---Cary Mangum, Chief State Radio Officer, W6WWW