For the agency a major purpose is to assist it in the use of emergency communications volunteers as unpaid staff. How to best use them can be very satisfying. Having qualified extended staff (albeit it unpaid) can provide astonishing benefits to the agency and the community.
For the program participants a major purpose is to discover how to function as "unpaid staff" of the agency alongside the paid staff; i.e., how to become an integral part of the agencies day-to-day activity. How to benefit both the participant and the agency by skills other than "just operating a radio", and the unheralded rewards and deep sense of a worthwhile contribution that ensue. With the expansion of Public Safety communications systems there is a real need for augmentation of staff (albeit unpaid) capable of providing maintenance and operation of these systems during extended emergencies. The use of Public Safety systems by program participants can range from augmenting 911 systems to the emergency installation, maintenance and operation of local government radios.
One example of such an integrated emergency communications program is illustrated by the publication "State of California Governors Office of Emergency Services Emergency Communications Reserve, the Auxiliary Communications Service". How it is implemented and designed is set forth in the 1994 plan of the same title distributed to California counties and State and Federal agencies without charge. Others may request a copy with a $11 check payable to the State of California. Mail to Office of Emergency Services, ACS Program, Telecommunications Branch, 2800 Meadowview Rd, Sacramento, Ca 95832. For more information call or write: Stan Harter or Cary Mangum, 916-262-1600.