ACS supports any and all government public service communications systems in the event of failure, overload or other problems that might jeopardize their usefulness. ACS provides tactical, logistical and administrative support and communications for all government communications systems.
The mission of the ACS is to serve the Sonoma County Department of Emergency Services (DES) in support of any possible need relative to communications in an emergency. This means far more than being activated in sporadic emergencies. It includes day-to-day involvement in the affairs of DES. In effect, ACS becomes an integrated aspect of DES staff, albeit unpaid.
The ACS unit of the Department of Emergency Services (DES) provides a variety of professional unpaid (volunteer) skills, including administrative, management, technical and operational, for emergency (tactical, administrative, and logistical) communications between the county and its jurisdictions, county and city governments and neighboring county governments.
ACS may provide communications support using amateur radio, cellular and regular phones, computers, e-mail, facsimile, internet, microwave, public service radio (police, fire, law enforcement), satellite, television, and video-conference systems; as well as field and in-office support of personnel. In order to maintain the highest possible level of staff and equipment readiness.
ACS will, in a professional manner, provide auxiliary communications and other support services to City government and the community as is necessary to support disaster response and recovery efforts. Typically, ACS's mission objectives may include but are not limited to:
- Establishing and operating primary and secondary radio networks to carry public safety and emergency communications utilizing amateur as well as a variety of government systems;
- Providing communications and administrative support by answering phones, making calls, relaying messages within the EOC and other command centers and between various facilities utilizing computer networks, FAX, e-mail and other methods and provide any other support assistance as may be necessary;
- Reporting from the field weather and damage conditions, supply and service requests as well as progress on response and recovery actions by way of radio, telephone, television and other forms of communications;
- Collecting, summarizing and reporting intelligence about the disaster and the extent of damage as well as the nature of various response and recovery activities that are underway, as determined through monitoring a variety of media and communications sources; and
- Maintain communications equipment in an ongoing state of readiness and conduct regular communications test at all Emergency Operation areas including hospitals, colleges and shelters.
Participants in the ACS are expected to be more than just operators of radios in a "call me if you need me" situation. They are skilled professionals who work as unpaid staff with the local emergency management agency to enhance its response and recovery in any possible emergency. This includes preparation of plans, systems and personnel for response to any kind of situation or incident."