|Emergency Communications Units - Information Bulletin|
Emergency Management Agencies via Internet and Radio
|FROM:||Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) of the
California Governor's Office of Emergency Services|
Command Bill of Rights
By Dave Larton, N6JQJ, State ACS Training Officer and Webmaster;
911 Dispatcher with City of Gilroy
Much has been said in these bulletins, and elsewhere, of the
"Volunteer's Bill of Rights," or, how volunteers expect to be
treated. When volunteering, remember that the people you work
for have a similar list of items that they expect from you. The
following is condensed from a Basic Hostage Negotiations class
taught recently in the Bay Area by Ray Birge, a former SWAT
Commander with the Oakland, CA Police Department. They apply
very well as basics that every volunteer should keep in mind,
especially when working for a higher authority:
Command Bill of Rights:
- Give me options. The more options I have as a commander, the
more of an informed decision I will be able to make.
- Don't destroy my career. Give me options that follow the
rules, policies or procedures of my department.
- Promote dynamic tension. Play the devil's advocate when
giving me options. What will happen if I follow this idea?
What might occur if I don't follow the idea?
- Look Intelligent. Bring the proper equipment. Be
prepared. Act the role you are supposed to be playing.
Remember, people are watching all of us at all times.
- Be prepared to train the boss. Many times, the commander
is the least informed of the entire team, yet he has to make
some of the most crucial decisions. Give the boss the
background as generally as you can. Be neutral.
- Keep me informed at all times. Don't hold any information
back, no matter how trivial; it could prove to be extremely
important later on.
- DON'T BREAK THE RULES! Should you elect to take a course
of action that may potentially break the rules, let me know
about it BEFORE you do it and get my OK! Remember Rules #2 and
All volunteers benefit from adhering to these seven rules as
your supervisor is counting on you to follow them.
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Bulletins archives: ACS Web page: acs.oes.ca.gov,
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