"TRAINING FOR AN ACS
So far I have been talking about 'pre-induction training.' It is absolutely important
that both paid and unpaid staff sing off the same sheet of music. If the government does not subscribe to and support this - there is no mission. No matter how well intentioned volunteers may be, if there is no acceptance and authority to act, there is no mission for a unit. A good share of my organizational seminars and meetings is spent on the many types of continuing, on-going activities the unit can do to maintain the necessary level of activity that will keep the unit alive and its participants interested and active. In short, if it is thinking of disaster-only, doomsday-only, emergency-only activities -- forget it. Let me describe this another way: I have been a volunteer in one government agency or another since 1951. I make no bones about telling the unit's chief that, 'Keep me busy or I'm out of here. Use me or lose me.' We apply the same concept to the ACS. The key people must be in that mode to be effective and ready for duty at any time.
"Once new personnel (not 'members') come aboard, there is no chiseled-in-stone training. Anyone who tells you that there should be long hours of formal training is usually trying to create a position-for-life that becomes vapor upon his/her burnout. Here's what we deem important for our unpaid staff:
1. Structure and names of key people in the agency.
2. Agency mission and responsibilities. It's policies and practices, SOP's that apply, etc. House layout and rules. Expected deportment, appearance, behavior and related (often unwritten) 'rules.'"