These agreements can take the form of the following:
- Mutual Aid Agreements (MAA)
- Service Agreements (SA)
- Service Contracts (SC)
- Service or Retainer Contracts (SR/SC)
- Memorandums of Agreement (MOA)
These agreements should be reviewed and approved by the legal council having jurisdiction within the organization structure of the department to ensure that the agreement and its parameters are equitable, concise and that all liability issues have been addressed.
CRD Format & Access
The final phase involves establishing a workable format in which the data can be documented, retrieved and updated. The development of listings of functional, or specific category headings, charts or in combination with graphics will provide for a workable format. A variety of computer software programs are available that provide searchable databases for the retrieval of selected information. Considerations for searchable databases, either entry searches by tile or key work searchable databases will enable quick identification, access and retrieval of the data.
At such time that the resource data is compiled and documented, and all agreements are executed, the field operations format that the Community Resource Directory can take may vary greatly. Dependant upon the extent and complexity of the database, coupled with the selection of the most appropriate and efficient way to call-up information, local conditions and departmental parameters will guide this effort.
The use of simple word processing or desk-top publishing formats can produce simple, easily understood listing and indexes that can be reproduced and published in formats that include bound books, 3-ring binders or computer print-out editions. The use of an indexed 3-ring binder format with protective sheet covers for individual pages of laminated versions will allow for ease in updating, revising and field use. This simple format does not rely on battery power and electrical support services, when operating for extended operational periods or in remote locations during initial operations. This format has been a proven method for operations, based upon its simplicity, however the manual effort required to search through the database of forms and the degree in which revisions and updates must be managed may be considered somewhat antiquated in this high-tech age.
The advancements and cost effectiveness in PC laptop & notebook and Palm PC computer systems coupled with continued physical size reductions, mobility, ruggedness and increased battery life provide significant attributes for the CRD format and operating platform for hardware. The use of Compact disks [CDs] for the media further allows for substantial data to be downloaded onto the CD. Continuing advancements in Palm PC's and PDA's and memory capabilities and functions furthers additional cost effective options for informational storage and retrieval systems and hardware. This format is economical, as well as efficient, not only in data retrieval but also in data management and control. Mobility, size and interface capabilities with full size PC units further enhances PDA use and considerations.
One draw back to consider involves extended use of these smaller systems without the availability of a continuous power source, as the operational life of the battery packs may impede long- term field use without additional spare battery units.
Validation and Revisions
As with any resource or reference document, the Community Resource Directory and data base should be updated and revalidated on an annual basis as a minimum, so to ensure that individual contact names, phone numbers and conditions are valid and current.
In addition, it is important to identify and document any changes in the resource listing that may affect its usefulness within the database. It is not uncommon for products, services or materials to change or be withdrawn especially when dealing with equipment, supply or service companies. The mere fact that they could no longer be in business would have a detrimental effect on their non-deployment in the event their services are called-up at a future incident.