REPLY: One of the most common complaints from emergency management officials is that some volunteers are enrolled with a county civil defense or emergency services agency and also enrolled in a comparable city agency. In an emergency callout the county and the city government may find that the volunteers they each thought they had are one and the same. It understandably upsets the government officials so affected to be told by these volunteers, "Sorry, I have just been called out by someone else." This may cause governments to say, "Make up your mind. It's one or the other. Please return your ID card to all but the one you choose to serve and be counted upon." In other words it's like being a reserve deputy sheriff or volunteer firefighter --- you can be one in only one department. We feel it's the same with deputy communicators -- be it called the RACES, the Auxiliary Radio Service, or whatever.
Volunteers and paid responders in California work within a highly developed mutual aid system. This enables properly trained and registered volunteers to serve wherever they are needed. Please understand this: it does not reduce the opportunities to serve and respond by being registered in just one government. We realize that many states and counties do not employ this mutual aid concept, so these comments reflect the practices of and recommendations for those that do.