- Convergent volunteers are those who spontaneously offer help in the wake of an incident, emergency or disaster.
- Reserve volunteers. This can be a confusing designation for it can have more than one meaning: (a) it can mean those who are called on for a specific function in an incident or emergency, such as a drowning accident team; (b) it can be an on-going program like a sheriff's reserve which participates regularly; (c) it can refer to a different gender group (i.e., female) as an adjunct to an active unit in the particular field.An example of a unit called "reserve" can include a community response team. These can range from highly active (equivalent to an on-going program) to very sporadic in meetings and use. The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service, as it is used in some jurisdictions, is a "reserve" when it has no on-going activity.
- On-going programs are those where some of the participants are continually active (some community teams) or are involved in some aspect of day-to-day duties, in addition to response roles in incidents, emergencies and disasters. An example is the Auxiliary Communications Service program used by the State Office of Emergency Services to enhance familiarization with agency protocol, programs and needs.
In all cases, as used herein, the word volunteer means someone who willingly offers his/her services without expectation of financial compensation.
Temporary hires, such as structural engineers hired to assess damage details, are NOT volunteers by definition. Paid staff, even short term, comes under an agencies normal program.