- (1) Disaster councils may require each person registered as a DSW to satisfactorily complete a course of training or instruction, including periodic refresher training. If warranted by the classification, disaster councils may require documented proof of professional certification or licensing.
- (2) The disaster council (or designated agency or authority) shall ensure disaster training is approved, documented, and supervised, and shall ensure disaster training is commensurate with the duties of the disaster service worker.
- (3) Exclusions: Unless the volunteer is directly providing disaster service, activities that are not covered include parades, public exhibitions, physical-fitness training, or training activities not related to disaster service.
In discussions with local government, item 3 above has drawn the most questions, such as: "What about DSW coverage for the Baker to Vegas Run" (a 120-mile relay race through the CA and NV Desert with running teams from law-enforcement agencies around the world). The answer is in the wording, in that coverage exists IF the volunteer is "DIRECTLY PROVIDING DISASTER SERVICE ACTIVITIES". Hence, purpose and planning of activation or involvement - along with retained records of the authority - is critical to DSW protection. A Baker to Vegas Run can be a covered event in CA IF structured and managed within the confines of the regulations. (Related issues with this event are to be covered in a separate bulletin.)
To assure protection, the local government official responsible for involving (activating) the ACS or RACES unit would:
- Have and retain a written record of the purpose of the event (say, training in deployment of comm van delta one)
- Write and retain the mission of the involvement (provide disaster communications to expedite emergency services for injured.....)
- Provide written authorization to the unit lead officer
- Assure that BOTH the local official AND the lead officer retain records 1 & 2 (above) with dates of involvement. This should be a permanent record (a 3-ring binder or on a computer with a separate backup outside the unit.)
- Verify that every participant in his/her jurisdiction is a registered DSW with current status; assume nothing.
The last thing that anyone wants to occur is to have an injury or death not covered by the DSW regulations when it was intended that the coverage be there should it be needed. Local government officials in California with questions regarding any aspect of this topic should contact Ben Green, State OES ACS coordinator at 916-262-1670 or Ben_Green@oes.ca.gov
DSW coverage in mutual aid: see bulletins 251-255