Standards of Behavior and Conduct

ACS personnel shall maintain the highest standards, of performance and behavior. As a volunteer organization entrusted to serve Montgomery County during emergencies ACS is working with professionals, who expect professionalism in return. Recognize that volunteer communications operators are individuals, but those who make a personal commitment to serve the community and county are part of a team which has been formed for the purpose of executing the county’s Emergency Operations Plan, in accordance with policies, procedures and rules. ACS members are expected to follow the following standards:

  1. ACS members must have current issued identification badges and FCC license copy in their possession always, and display county photo ID prominently while on activation. Appropriate identification is required to ensure that volunteers are not mistaken by citizens or non-governmental organizations as professional responders. This could result in personnel being inappropriately assigned non-communication tasks which exceed their legal authority, training or ability.
  2. All personnel shall demonstrate a positive and enthusiastic image of Montgomery County and the ACS program. ACS personnel should always present a clean, well-groomed, neat, utilitarian and professional appearance which builds confidence in the minds of agencies and organizations we support.
  3. All communications and statements made during an operation are to be treated as strictly confidential. Personnel will make no statements or provide information to the media or any non-departmental personnel at any time. Inquiries by the media must be directed to the agency Public Information Officer (PIO).
  4. Personnel should avoid distasteful or controversial public discussions, which may reflect negatively on the Montgomery County ACS organization. Any such issues that do arise should be forwarded to the Unit Leader and up the chain of command to the Radio Officer.
  5. Personnel shall wear clean civilian work clothing with [forest green ball cap and outer garment bearing the ACS patch and ] County-issued photo ID. They may also wear the uniforms & insignia of their parent volunteer organizations (REACT, CERT, CAP etc.). Wearing of distinctive items of military or other uniform apparel or insignia not approved by the Radio Officer is prohibited.
  6. Personnel shall not consume alcoholic beverages or controlled substances while on activation. Any member found under the influence of any intoxicant while activated will be removed from the scene and have his/her team membership immediately terminated.
    Personnel shall not carry firearms during exercises or when activated, regardless of permit status, except for sworn law enforcement officers, required by their supervising authority to be armed when off-duty.
  7. Personnel should always operate in a safe manner. If you are asked to do something that you consider unsafe, you have the right to refuse and to notify the incident Safety Officer.
  8. All ACS personnel are expected to maintain at minimum portable communications and always carry personal equipment for a 12-hour operational period. (Refer to Vehicle Checklist – Local Deployment – Appendix 1 and Personal Equipment Checklist for 12-Hour Operational Period – Urban Environment – Appendix 3)
  9. Operators who are deployed in an EMAC capacity, providing support for the National Capitol Region (NCR), shall also have their vehicles equipped with a 25-watt VHF or dual-band mobile radio, or other similar radio for the service band in which they are licensed (Refer to Vehicle Checklist – EMAC Deployment Appendix 2) and always carry a 24-hour pack and work clothing with them. (Refer to 24-hour pack checklist – Appendix 4 for suggested items).
  10. Station identification by both net control and field stations shall be kept to the minimum required by FCC regulations.
  11. Minimum necessary transmitter power should be used to conserve batteries and prevent interference to other nearby stations.
  12. There is to be no unnecessary conversation or chatter during ACS operations
    Personnel provide, use and maintain their own personal equipment during ACS operations, unless operating at a designated equipped local government station.
    At all times operations will be conducted in a safe manner.
  13.  ACS personnel deployed on activation will be required to maintain and complete an ICS 214 Unit Activity Log for all shifts worked.

Draft from Ben Acton