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Work Comp Issues

In trying to develope CERTs in each of the 11 Fire Protection Districts in Calaveras County, CA (and one Municipal Department) the issue of a volunteer being injured outside of a State declared disaster is a continueous issue. Although we have a general AD&D policy for CERT members in each of the four (4) current Teams, covering injuries sustained during trainings, while assisting a Fire Department directing traffic, etc. is a question I find difficult, albiet impossible to answer when asked by a Fire Chief or Board of Directors for a Fire Protection District. Solutions anyone?

A Mt Gal R.N. 1 year ago   Reply

Hi Dennis, Good luck in your endeavor. I started the Arnold CERT group in 2004? We didn't get far since funding was not available after our class for re-training etc. I am sorry  a trainee was injured. Did you speak to County Counsel and see what they have to say about this since it happened with in the county? That is the only suggestion I have. The Red Cross gave us no help once our training was over but maybe you ought to ask them how they handle this? Again, good luck on your goal. It's just what our county needs. I wish I could participate but I would be a hinderance during a disaster now. I am one of two disabled people in our household so we are worthless to the new group unless you want to use us on how to evacuate those with special needs.Best of luck to you! A Mt Gal (aka Peg with latex allergy)

I would think they would be covered under existing mutual aid agreements.

Check and see what the existing laws state.

They can also be added to existing coverages.

Thanks. I'm working that aspect now. It appears that Sac Metro covers CERT volunteers but they are a HUGE organization and their financial picture, although hurting like the rest of us, is much stronger than Calaveras County. In discussing this with other CERTs, including a recent former CalEMA employee, this discussion has be around for some time without a resolution. Perhaps as CERT grows nationwide, awareness in covering volunteers assisting emergency responders (instead of keeping trained firefighters directing traffic around a down power line until PG&E responds in an hour or more) will also increase. -dennis-

Larry Whitney 11 months ago   Reply

Hi Dennis

California's DSW regulations changed last December.  CERTs are now covered for "authorized" training and for activities beyond declared disasters.  I cannot provide advice, but you should get a copy of the new regulations and see if that helps solve some of your problems.