What was quickly discovered, in addition, was a real wealth of skills, interests, talents and abilities; what we called "hidden jewels". AS a result we compiled what became known as our "SKILLS INVENTORY". It ended up as a form with each persons name down the left side and across the top a coded list of the skill category. By glancing at the list it became possible to very quickly recall who had what skill, experience, etc.
Later, we made that into a RACES Bulletin, and also included it in the Bulletins-By-Topic publication done in the mid 1990's. Here is the category list that was applicable in those years (albeit it is significantly different today.)
The 1992 skill codes we had for our communications volunteers in government service were:
- A. Administration: supervision, management or administrative assistant
- C. Consultant, technician, engineer, installer, sysop or remote sysop
- D. Digital and/or computer, w/disc preparation
- F. Field responder
- G. Go-fer, Messenger
- H. OES Headquarters operating experience
- L. Liaison, as with CAP, MARS, Highway Patrol, State Police, Forestry, others.
- N. Net Control Experience on HF
- P. Photographer
- R. Radio Officer
- S. Secretarial, clerical
- T. ATV and or related video skills
- V. VIP enrolled and trained in California Dept of Forestry & Fire Prevention VIP amateur radio unit
- W. Work party and/or tower climbing
- Z. Commercial type Drivers License
The data came from an enrollment form which listed interest areas ranging from 1 to 10, or some other appropriate range of choice. Their answers were sorted on a computer into groupings (above). Letter designators were used as there were multiple skills or areas of interest.
Continued use of the inventory can help assure that the interests of each individual are met; assuming (obviously) that there are in fact opportunities to put those skills to use.
That it was a very quick reference tool became apparent when heavy-rig drivers were needed in the fire division of OES. A quick check of the roster found three registrants with the requisite commercial drivers experience and licenses. Two were contacted, and assigned to the fire division. While that was not directly a communications operation, they filled a need that utilized their skills and were pleased to be called for that assignment.
That the fire division involvement occurred was due to the interest and skill of the paid staff coordinator who involved the unit participants in any conceivable situation that their skills could be effectively utilized.