Disaster service workers and races activation
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DISASTER SERVICE WORKERS AND RACES ACTIVATION. Who, What, Why & How. What is a Disaster Service Worker?. Any person registered with an accredited disaster council … for the purpose of engaging in disaster service without pay or other monetary consideration. What is Disaster Service?.

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Who, What, Why & How

What is a Disaster Service Worker?

  • Any person registered with an accredited disaster council … for the purpose of engaging in disaster service without pay or other monetary consideration.

What is Disaster Service?

  • All activities authorized by and carried on pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act while assisting and under the authority of any unit of the emergency organization during a proclaimed emergency or during a disaster to mitigate an imminent threat of extreme peril to life, property and resources including approved documented and supervised training necessary to engage in such activities.

Classifications and General Duties

  • Communications. Install, operate and maintain various communications systems and perform related service, to assist officials and individuals in the protection of life and property.

  • Also:

  • Community Emergency Response Team Member.

  • Emergency Operation Center/Incident Command.

When am I covered as a DSW?

  • When activated and assigned by proper authority.

What’s in it for you?

  • Workers Compensation coverage by State Compensation Insurance Fund

    • Death Benefit

    • Wage Continuation

    • Medical Treatment

  • Limited liability protection when acting within scope of assignment and training

The Elements of Disaster Service Activation

  • Registration

  • Training

  • Activation

  • Assignment

  • Supervision


  • Only an “authorized person” may register you.

  • You must have a current DSW registration on file with the entity that is activating you.

  • DSW registration does not expire, but the Blue Cards do.

  • Personal information must be verified every five years.


  • Training is the responsibility of the local ARES group under direction of the Coordinator of the Office of Emergency Services (OES).

  • In Mountain View there are 3 levels of qualification.

    • Level 1 – Field communicator

    • Level 2 – EOC communicator

    • Level 3 – Mutual Aid Communicator

  • Major emphasis is on safety and effectiveness of responders.


  • Only an entity with whom you are registered may activate you.

  • An “Activation Number” will be issued.

  • e.g., MTV-12-01T


  • You will usually get your assignment by radio.

  • Standard shifts are 8 hours.

  • Location will be given by common name, address and Thomas Bros. map coordinates.

  • e.g., Mountain View Fire Station 4, 229 N. Whisman Rd., Thomas 812A5.


  • You must be under continuous supervision while acting under assignment.

  • This means you must be reachable by radio at all times,

  • and that means you must have a radio that can be operated with reasonable range while you are in your car (e.g., mag-mount antenna)

Example (Self-Alerting Earthquake)

  • Make sure everything is okay at home

  • Tune to W6ASH repeater (145.270)

  • Make Mike-Mike Reports

  • Listen for K6MTV to announce

  • Switch to MTV Tactical (146.535)

  • Make your availability known to MTV Tactical Net Control Operator

Example (Non-Self-Alerting Event)

  • AlertSCC or Telephone Tree

  • Contact info will be given

  • May use AA6BT (146.115) or W6ASH (145.270) repeaters (they may be linked) or MTV Tactical (146.535 or 147.495)

  • Make your availability known to Net Control Operator

Example Continued

  • Net Control may or may not make immediate activation and assignment.

  • If not immediately activated, check your go-kit and go about your business but continue to monitor MTV Tactical

  • Do not self-activate!!!

Example Continued

  • Net Control will call you at some point and offer activation.

  • If you accept activation, you will be given an assignment.

  • Before leaving home, call MTV Tactical and inform that you are ready to roll.

  • You will be given travel and reporting information and be requested to check-in every 15 min. with location and odometer reading.

Example Continued

  • Upon arrival at assignment, inform NCO and then register with person in charge at that location.

  • You are assigned as a communicator, don’t take on tasks that will interfere with duties as communicator.

  • If you need to go off the air inform Net control.

Example Continued

  • Upon relief at end of assignment, check-out with person in charge at that location.

  • Inform NCO that you are proceeding to home.

  • Check-in every 15 minutes on the way home.

  • You are our responsibility from portal to portal.

Records and Logs

  • ICS-211 Checkin List – Be sure you are on the receiving agency’s records.

  • ICS-214 Unit Activity Log – This is your personal record of activities.

  • ICS-309 Communications Log – Record of messages handled on behalf of served agency

  • Turn them all in before you leave.

The Blue “DSW” Card

  • What it is

    • A passport through security lines when under assignment

    • Only for official use

  • What it isn’t

    • It is not an ID Card

    • It is not a get-out-of-jail card

What’s it Say?

  • “The bearer of this identification is on official business in response to an emergency or disaster situation. If safety permits, please allow passage to destination.”

  • “It is a misdemeanor to wear, carry or display without authority, any means of identification specified by the emergency agency of the state.”


  • Approach in the field of vision of the officer,

  • Keep hands in sight,

  • Greet the officer,

  • Identify yourself,

  • Show identification,

  • State who sent you,

  • State where you are headed,

  • State what you will do there,

  • Request permission to pass,

  • Thank the officer.


  • Discussion/Questions

  • Fill-out and return Disaster Service Worker Information Sheet

  • Inform Spouse/S.O./Family of Workers Comp. provisions

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