Thinking Ahead – When to Fold Up Tent while serving a Served-Agency?

Another in the Thinking Ahead series started with https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/im-a-ham-or-am-i/

In most cases affiliating with a Served-Agency is the result of over-estimating the benefits & goodness of serving, while simultaneously under-estimating or even ignoring the downside & risks.

Unless you have been involved with an agency for a long time, and have done your homework, youre “call to action” is going to be more emotive than pragmatic.

Served-Agencies would soon run out of volunteers if they wholly ignored the well being of Emcom/EmGov volunteers, but that doesn’t mean they will go to bat for you if something goes amiss.

On the minimalistic end a volunteer usually is expected to be equipped and personally ready to serve.  If your gear gets trashed or just wears out, that is usually part of your volunteer offering.

On a major end a Served-Agency may simply not have the ready resources to protect you, protect your gear, protect your home QTH while you are away, or even get you back out of the hot zone.

In between the Served-Agency’s responsibilities and insurance may vary or be inadequate if you get hurt.  It took intervention at the political level to get coverage for volunteers injured about 15 years ago in my state, when they were seriously injured helping out after a serious weather incident.  Initially they were declined any coverage for their personal rescue costs, and faced being financial ruined by being injured in the course of volunteer public service.  It got sorted out with a lot of politics, but ours is just one state.  YMMV in other states, and if you are asked to cross state lines or national borders to serve.

Most served agencies ask their Emcom volunteers to disarm themselves.  Yet few provide any security for the volunteers set to the field.

Having a served agency protect your home QTH and family while you are volunteering is unheard of.

So when do you fold up tent and head home?

When the risks to self, family and property exceed your very personal thresholds of concern.

You head home if you are asked to do propaganda.

You head home if they are not feeding & sheltering you to your expectations.

You head home if the threats to your Family and property rise above what again is a very personal threshold of concern.

You head home if your morals, ethics and faith are unduly challenged.

You head home if you are being asked to do something unlawful, or to bear silent witness to unlawful acts.

You head home if a higher purpose in volunteering trumps a mundane assignment.

You head home if you are being asked to follow fools, the unwise or the incompetent.

How you handle going home depends on the situation.  Some transgressions require immediate decisive action, others you can talk about and simply rotate-off duty.

The primary thing to remember is volunteering is a lower level responsibility than the responsibilities we have to God, Family, Self and Country (as in Constitution).  As you are not receiving anything of value by volunteering the argument that there is no real form of contract is pretty strong.

If you have agreed to be deployed via a radio group (ARES/Races type group) to serve another agency remember you have not personally agreed to any pass-down provisions between the agencies.  Your volunteer terms remain between you and the radio group.

YMMV on the points I’ve made, and I do hope I’ve made you think deeply that your TRUE responsibility is to God, Family, Self and Country (as in Constitution).

73

Steve
K9ZW

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