TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3
EMERGENCY COORDINATOR WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY ARES BULLETIN NR 18.49 DATE: December 9, 2018
SUBJECT: ACCEPTING THE FACTS.
Being a part of as ARES/RACES communications group as a volunteer means being prepared for any communications problem that may arise. Emergencies that may require our assistance should be monitored, and volunteers activated before our services are needed. This includes activating ARES or RACES and having those volunteers report to either an EOC or to the scene as directed by officials.
In many cases the emergency is cleared, and responders canceled before reaching their destination. Experienced volunteers in government service are accustomed to callouts where they are recalled while in-route or told to return upon their arrival on scene. This is not uncommon and may happen more often than not.
The inexperienced volunteer may become upset when this happens. He has taken his time to respond to a call and may not understand why he "must" return before actually reaching the scene. This is impossible to change, and all new volunteers should be aware of this possibility. Just because volunteers are activated does not mean their services will be needed.
The point being is, we must be prepared to accept the facts. If we are not needed, we will most likely be cancelled. Yes, that's blunt talk but a necessary truth. Most volunteer organizations should not be bashful when describing their expectations or directions to a prospective volunteer. This helps reduce future disappointments among anyone serving as regular volunteer staff.
For being so candid up front, many people will choose not to join an organization, than those who do. But the bonus is, that it leaves the organization with a group of dedicated volunteers who will more likely stay for a long time. It should also be stated to every applicant to an organization that they expect them to be working with this agency or organization 5, 10, or maybe 15 years or more down the road. That should really get the individual's attention.
True volunteers will understand and still be willing to help. As far as emergency communicators, there won't be as many callouts as other services such as volunteer Firefighter, Search & Rescue, and Emergency Medical Technician. So cancellations will be a lot fewer.
These methods have been used for many years with volunteer Search & Rescue, Law Enforcement, Firefighters, and other public safety volunteers with superb results.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV