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Emergency Communications
Safety of Life
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The Four “S”s of ACS Volunteer Service


  • First of all, its important to remain calm and think before acting and speaking.
  • Although the threat of terrorist attack on US interests somewhere in the world exists, the chance of something significant actually happening in your area is much, much less. While you need to be prepared, the chances of having to be used in response to a local emergency are few and far between.
  • When ACS is elevated to Level Point 5, it does not mandate continuous manning of emergency circuits.  Homeland Security currently indicates that elevation to Level Point 5 threat status is rare and if it does occur, it will most likely be for a very limited area.  If the EOC is opened for actual post-incident relief operations and communications become overloaded, then ACS would be called upon to staff facilities in accordance with local plans. 
  • Once again, as an ACS Team Member your primary concern when an emergency condition exist, regardless of level, is to ensure your home and family are prepared for an emergency.


  • Your safety prior to, during and after any operation is paramount.  If you are dead or injured, you will not be of any help to anyone, and if you are not safe and secure you will only compound the problem for those we are  trying to help.
  • Ensure any task undertaken is one that you are trained and equipped to handle.  As an ACS Team Member, you are train to for a specific task. Do not attempt to fight fires, engage in heavy rescue activities, monitor chemical plumes, or perform hazardous activities if you are not trained . Trying to do things you are not equipped for only compounds the problem.
  • In times of stress to be careful of the risks assorted with everyday activities, such as driving. Nothing we do as ACS Team members ever requires us to violate any speed limits or traffic signals.
  • During an operation Fatigue can quickly become an issue.  If activated, ensure you work no more than eight hours a day and get plenty of sleep when off shift.  In all operations, ACS leadership  will make sure that adequate shifts and relief personnel are scheduled to minimize fatigue and maximize safety and effectiveness.


  • Every time you speak to someone on the air even in normal conversation, assume at least ten other people are listening to the conversation, some of who might wish us harm. So without being paranoid, be careful about on air conversations that might be of value to those who are in a position to escalate the incident..
  • Avoid on-air discussions of military operations, government security procedures, police checkpoint locations, communication facility locations, EOC locations, Red Cross distribution centers, emergency frequencies, schedules of operations, etc.  When in-person, you have a good idea to whom you are talking to, on the air you do not know who is listening and all  information relayed could become part of an overall capability assessment.


  • Never express personal opinions during exercises, alerts, or deployments. Expressions of personal feelings are not appropriate during any incident.


“Preparedness is Not an Option, Preparedness is a Requirement

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Baltimore  County Auxiliary Communications Service
115 Wight Avenue - PBX 88 -  Hunt Valley, MD 21031