The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) relies heavily upon its emergency management volunteers. The volunteers who work with the OEM include the Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) Team, the Incident Management Team (IMT) and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) group.
The Douglas County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is the central point of coordination and support to Incident Command in the field during a large scale emergency or disaster. The capabilities of the EOC are made possible by a volunteer team comprised of members from governmental agencies across the county as well as subject matter expert volunteers from the community.
The EOC Team assists in the coordination of logistics, resources and information during large incidents in the county. The EOC Team is constructed of Essential Support Functions (ESF’s) with each ESF specializing in a specific area of disaster coordination and support. The EOC Team and ESF’s meet and train on a regular basis to gain and maintain proficiency and readiness with EOC systems and practices.
The Douglas County Incident Management Team (IMT), which is made up of primarily members from governmental agencies across the county, also includes some true volunteers. The team helps to manage large incidents that occur in Douglas County such as the contingency planning for the Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012 and the Black Forest Fire in 2013, along with winter snow storms. The team meets and trains on a regular basis to maintain proficiency and readiness.
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) group supports the OEM on large incidents. They are a vital communications link in the event normal radio and telephone systems fail. ARES steps in to help during severe weather events, wildland fires, contingency planning, and also to establish a communications link with the Civil Air Patrol during severe fire danger. The team can operate off the grid making them a vital resource.
The Douglas County Libraries registers and coordinates volunteers during emergencies.