First, the concept (and name) of "radio room" is, itself, out-of date. More correctly it is a modern Communications Center (or COMM Center)
Second, the people who staff this facility are an on-going asset of the agency, albeit unpaid; not a reserve or group called in only in some far distant emergency, and are not limited to Amateur Radio licensees.
In reality, a Communications Center is a thriving central point for many communication systems and networks:
- computer network access to LANS and WANS (local area and wide area net systems) by people experienced in emergency communica- tions (something few agency staff have a background in to any extent.)
- that computer access may be via wired networks, cell systems, satellite systems, television AS WELL AS RADIO (agency and Amateur Radio) that may be used with OR WITHOUT computers.
- the people that support these systems must have an organized place from which to work as an integral part of the emergency information and response system of the agency.
- these people have special talents vital to emergency response:
- highly skilled problem solvers.
- highly motivated, will show up on days that paid staff take as a paid day off; or in the evening and on weekends, which are times few paid staff will show up, unless an emergency or overtime.*
- they are far less cynical towards their agency than many paid staff (the staff cynicism may be unknown to agency managers.)
- they want to be a part of the agency they support. Providing this work center for their activity establishes that bond.*