1. #1
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    Question Volunteerism in California

    As the team leader for the San Fernando Valley Volunteer Tactical EMS team, I would like to address a topic worth exploring. As some of you know, California is faced with one of its worst budget deficits in history and as a result, the elected officials will have to trim the fat from somewhere in the State. I have no doubt that EMS will be adversely affected and the word is they are considering cutting 75% from first line disaster response. I have talked to many in EMS here and it seems that volunteerism is the wave of the future here and will definitely save the State money in the long run and will ensure adequate staffing in a major disaster or act of terrorism. The only problem I can forsee are the Firefighter unions crying foul since they will use the argument that paid jobs will be in jeopardy. I would like to know what everyone else thinks about this subject.
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  2. #2
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    I am curious as to what the proposal(s) actually entail or is this just a trial balloon to see who opens fire.

    There are somewhat similar examples of this already in place. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Dept. has a large contingent of reserve deputies (i.e., volunteer) that are first line disaster responders. Many - particularly those on the search and rescue teams - are EMTs (or higher) and bring many traditional EMS/rescue skills to the table. (They are in fact a formal part of the EMS network in LA County). Similar groups exist around the state.

    Then there is the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) model that was pioneered in the state. Light SAR, first-aid/basic medical, etc. are all skill sets these citizen responders would bring to the table in their neighborhood.

    The specifics are what we need to understand in what is proposed. Pros/cons will naturally shake out, but the reality is that first line disaster response will extend beyond the traditional Fire/EMS framework when it hits the fan.

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