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Popular Questions

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  • Am I under any obligation to be an active ACS member because of the contract?

    You must follow the policies and procedures of the program to remain a volunteer, but you may resign at any time. The contract serves as an agreement that both the volunteer and the Department will work together to meet each other's needs. Either party may discontinue the relationship at any time.
  • Do I have to become an ACS Member?

    No. If you already participate in such organizations as ARES or CDF's VIP, you may continue to serve - ACS policies do not affect those groups, they are independent organizations. However, if you wish to participate in the traditional RACES-style role, you must become a registered ACS member (see FCC Regulations Part 97, Section 407(a)).
  • How are my ACS volunteer hours tracked?

    Unit Leaders track the hours of the members in each area unit. Your cooperation is needed in reporting the number of hours spent participating in ACS training, exercises, and actual emergencies. (Do not include time spent in activities, meetings, or dinners for other organizations such as CDF VIPs or radio clubs). For purposes of recognition, it is not necessary to have the specific dates and times; just the estimate of hours accrued on a regular basis.
  • How is my ACS volunteer contract renewed?

    At the end of the renewal date the relationship between the Department and the volunteer is assessed. If both parties find it mutually beneficial, the contract can be renewed. In the case of ACS members, unless there is a need for
    either party to discuss difficulties or concerns, the contract will automatically be renewed. There is no need to come to the Department to renew the contract, or complete any additional paperwork.
  • What is ACS?

    The Auxiliary Communications Service has its start in units originally designed for radio communications by Amateur Radio Operators on FCC authorized frequencies. Dramatic changes in technology and expansion of governmental Public Safety systems indicated the need for a broader service. Activities include much more than operations on selected frequencies of a single service.

    The ACS provides tactical, logistical and administrative support and communications for all government communications systems. This includes operations on equipment and frequencies of ANY authorized equipment or
    frequencies in support of ANY need by government that might be in any way connected with an eventual emergency. This includes: cellular, computer, e-mail, facsimile, Internet, interpersonal, microwave, radio (police, fire, amateur, other), satellite, telephone, television, video-conference, in-office support of personnel, operators of equipment and systems.
  • When is the ACS Level One training offered?

    Level One training is offered the first Saturday of April and October.
  • Why do ACS Members need to track their hours?

    ALL Sonoma County volunteers keep records of the hours they work. This is important in order for the County to properly recognize the efforts of its volunteers and document the usefulness of the various volunteer programs. The County sponsors events such as the annual Volunteer Recognition Reception, various volunteer awards, certificates, etc. Showing the hours worked by individual volunteers also demonstrates that the program is functional and useful and helps justify the continued commitment of resources that are devoted to maintaining the ACS program.
  • Why does ACS have a Volunteer Application/Contract?

    The County Volunteer Program guidelines require an application and a renewable contract. The contract gives both parties a chance to evaluate the relationship and continuously renew the contract if it is in the best interest of both the department and the volunteer. The contract is renewable on an annual basis to provide an opportunity for both parties to reevaluate the relationship on an on-going basis.
  • Why does ACS have volunteer policies and procedures?

    Policies and procedures are needed in order to ensure that all ACS members are treated equally, fairly and with the respect that dedicated volunteers deserve. These policies are modeled from basic and commonly accepted business standards and practices. These policies also provide valuable legal protection for the volunteers and the department.
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Contact Information

Zachary Hamill
Emergency Coordinator
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
2300 County Center Drive
Suite 220 B
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.46229, -122.725377

Partners and Resources

NWS Forecast Office
National Weather Service - San Francisco Bay Area

American Red Cross
Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties

Independent Study Program, ICS-100 & 200

California Governor's Office of Emergency Services

Cal OES Auxiliary Communications Service