Also during an emergency the OES SITREPS (Situation Reports) and situation summaries addressed to RACES @ ALLCA are sent over the same system for information to all who need the current status on such events as an earthquake, flood, or major wildfire, for example. Numerous fire crews advise they rely on the packet (digital) situation reports in order to keep abreast of events as their ONLY source of information.
The purpose of getting the Radio Officer into the Emergency Services office is to preclude the biggest bugaboo to volunteers; that is, namely, "out of sight is out of mind". Too often volunteers sit back and wait to be called by the officials and wonder why it never happens. Worse than that are any unattached and undisciplined volunteers who dispatch themselves into the fray with all good intentions, but in so doing further obfuscate the disaster.
Unfortunately, however, these bulletins are sometimes not delivered to the agency for several reasons:
- the Radio Officer or other person doesn't have packet, and no one else has told him/her they exist.
- the Radio Officer isn't doing his/her job or has delegated it to staff without following up to be assured it occurs;
- recipients don't read the header or grasp the significance of the agency address status;
- local Amateurs THINK they belong to the emergency communications unit but really don't do anything about it.
The next four bulletins "We Wait, but No Calls", will cover related misunderstandings.