15. Unfit to Help?

The Spring 2015 edition of Emergency Management magazine, like most issues of this quarterly publication, has a number of valuable articles. One that might be of particular interest to ARES volunteers is Unfit to Help?, a debate regarding the need for volunteer background checks in the emergency management field.

Unfit to Help? notes that people in crisis often constitute a more vulnerable population than those in routine situations. Some jurisdictions use this as a reason for background checks, while others note that many bad actors have no criminal history and would slip through anyway.

Everyone admits that background checks cost money, and some agencies choose not to check for purely financial reasons. Other agencies see this as short sighted, as the legal liabilities of a single incident caused by an unchecked volunteer can offset the cost of thousands of such checks.

For this spirited debate and other articles, go to www.emergencymgmt.com and check out the site for yourself.