Make no mistake, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities available to such men and women. How, then, can an ACS type unit build a staff with the highest caliber professionals? By involving them in the decision-making process. By
recognizing they have other commitments in their lives and, to the extent possible, by accommodating these commitments. By making them an active part of all planning within the organization, and by allowing them to bring their unique skills to bear on organizational and operational issues. Doing this should not threaten anyone on the paid staff. The paid staff is the basis of all the authority in ACS. The unpaid staff/volunteers realize that, in any activation, the paid staff liaison is the manager-in- charge. The leadership within the ACS group is next, then the individual team member.
The ACS should be goal oriented and, when tasked to perform a mission, all of the team's goals should be outlined. These individuals should be trained and ready to accept that mission. When any ACS team is dispatched to a disaster scene, paid staff should have the confidence that the mission will be accomplished. The paid staff's confidence would be based on the ACS volunteers input during the planning process. An understanding of the mission goals and the capabilities of each participant would be evident to all. The unpaid staff/volunteer who is allowed to flourish and grow within the open ACS structure could complete that mission in a new and inventive manner. They would not be afraid to adjust and adapt in the field to overcome problems and make the mission a success."