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Author Topic: Insurance Issues during Emcomm Activations  (Read 5178 times)
K9ZW
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« on: February 22, 2007, 07:01:30 PM »

The insurance issues with Emcomm, particularly during training & drills, is are complex.

I've attempted to layout what my research found at:

http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2007/02/17/touching-the-third-rail-insurance-issues-in-emcomm/

Your comments & thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

73

Steve
K9ZW
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/
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KE4SKY
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2007, 06:07:00 AM »

EmCom personnel activated by local government are covered under 47 CFR 97.407(a) Appendix F, the
Federal Volunteer Protection Act of 1997,

aka 42 USC 139

Various state laws also apply.  In Virginia:

Virginia State Government Volunteers Act §2.1-554
VA Emergency Mgt Assistance Compact §44-146

Local code, policy and regulations also apply, this language is from Arlington County's General Instructions in the ACS Manual, incorporated by reference in the Emergency Support Function 2 - Communications:

1.   Served agencies shall provide assigned ACS personnel with essential personal protective equipment, emergency medical treatment, workman’s compensation insurance and access to off-duty rest and shelter areas for meals, sleep, hygiene and sanitation to the same extent as provided for paid staff.

2.    Field replenishment of expendable supplies, food and water for on-duty ACS personnel performing active functions shall be provided to the same extent as for paid staff.





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K9ZW
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2007, 06:22:36 AM »

Thank you Ed KE4SKY,

Again your contribution is appreiciated.

The coverage for Government call outs is mentioned in my article, though I'll strengthen it to bring out the points you've made.

There does seem to be several insurance gaps even in this Covered During Government Call Out situation, as would a drill be considered an activation that triggers coverage?

Would a drill called ONLY by the Emcomm group have coverage?

Would a jump-team or self-activation prior to Official Government Activation create a situation where the volunteer is uninsured?

At time of activation where does the coverage for a volunteer physically start?  When they grab their jump kit, when they report or when they are assigned?

And of course we have the wider gammit of operations for Served Agengies which as NGO's are by definition "Non-Government" precluding their direct tapping into the Government insurance.

How does your group handle these risks?

Thank you again,

73

Steve
K9ZW
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KE4SKY
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2007, 07:24:35 AM »

ACS and RACES do not self-activate.  They are activated only at the request of the local government.
This includes drills, training and exercises.

Self-dispatching freelancer are unwelcome and do so that their own risk.  They have no legal sanction or protection.

Drills, trainiung and exercises are a good place to  identify potential wannabes who are inclined to do such things.  The majority of them have history and don't make it through the background check.  But if one slips through we use the individual performance
rating to weed them out.  The "usual wannabes" are well known in the community. We make sure fire and PD have descriptions of them, their vehicles, including  DMV driver's license photos.  If any show up at an incident site they are politely escorted away. If they fail to obey the lawful order of a police or uniformed fire officer they are subject to arrest.

This is a relatively simple and effective process and repeat offenders are seldom a problem.
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K2GW
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2007, 07:53:20 AM »

In New Jersey, Civil Defense Volunteers are protected from liability and covered for injuries under the NJ Civil Defense Act.

http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/documents/appdx9.doc

Virtually all of the ARES members in our section are enrolled as RACES operators in our combined ARES/RACES organization to cover them as Civil Defense Volunteers under the Act.

We do not self-activate, except to deploy to the County EOC or to the Red Cross Chapter upon hearing of an incident.  Obviously, any further deployment would be under the direction of the officials there and thus covered.  

Also, by having the ARES County EC designated as the County Radio Officer by the County OEM Director, they can authorize drills and have them covered.  Of course, as a practical matter, they should always run any drill ideas by the County OEM director first.

I always make sure that any of our statewide drills are also authorized by the State OEM RACES officer, to provide coverage under the act that way as well.

That said, I encourage every EmComm volunteer to make sure their own insurance (Health, property, liability and umbrella) coverage is adequate for their own needs.  That way you can get help quickly and then let the insurance companies fight it out as to which of them actually pays for it in the end.

73

Gary, K2GW
SNJ SEC

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K9ZW
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2007, 08:19:13 AM »

Thank you Ed KE4SKY,

The advantages of being RACES only is made obvious by your post.

Many states have an operationally combined ARES/RACES situation which makes their decision tree more complex.

again thank you,

73

Steve
K9ZW
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WA4MJF
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Posts: 1003




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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2007, 12:37:44 PM »

Here, we have some county EM Managers
that routinely use us in our RACES hat
and, therefore, have Workerman's Comp,
Tort Liability protection, etc.  Others,
including the State use us in our ARES*
hat, so they do not incur these liabilities.

So, it is a call the EM folks make based
on their fiscal resources.

73 de Ronnie

*ARES is a registered Service Mark of
the American Radio Relay League, Inc
and is used with permission.
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K9ZW
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2007, 01:12:31 PM »

Ronnie WA4MFJ,

We do not need permission to use the word ARES to discuss the ARRL's ARES program.

A Service Mark prevents someone other than the Service Mark holder from marketing a similar product using a previously registered Service Mark.

Interestingly the ARRL uses the Circle-R for a Registered Trademark, even though the spelled out version "Amateur Radio Emergency Service" is a Service Mark only (See US Trademark Serial Number 76264225), as is the "ARES" (See US Trademark Serial Number 76264250).

It would seem correct useage would be ARES (sm) and Amateur Radio Emergency Service (sm), but as Service Marks the (sm)

Interestingly the ARRL did "Trademark" DXCC (R), and the use of the Circle-R marking is warranted for its use.

All told the ARRL has 18 Service Marks and Trademarks.

You can check into this at:  http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm  - then select search and have a go!

73

Steve
K9ZW
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/
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K9ZW
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2007, 02:08:45 PM »

After receiving a very nice email, the uses of TM/SM and Circle-R appear to be quite different than what most online sources state:

Are there federal regulations governing the use of the designations "TM" or "SM" with trademarks?

No. Use of the symbols "TM" or "SM" (for trademark and service mark, respectively) may, however, be governed by local, state, or foreign laws and the laws of the pertinent jurisdiction must be consulted. These designations usually indicate that a party claims rights in the mark and are often used before a federal registration is issued.



When is it proper to use the federal registration symbol (the letter R enclosed within a circle -- ® -- with the mark.

The federal registration symbol may be used once the mark is actually registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Even though an application is pending, the registration symbol may not be used before the mark has actually become registered. The federal registration symbol should only be used on goods or services that are the subject of the federal trademark registration. [Note: Several foreign countries use the letter R enclosed within a circle to indicate that a mark is registered in that country. Use of the symbol by the holder of a foreign registration may be proper.]

(Source:  http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/tmfaq.htm#Basic007)

Learned something TM and SM under current USA Law are basically the same - learned something making it another successful day!!

73

Steve
K9ZW
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K9ZW
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Posts: 180


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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2007, 10:57:45 AM »

I've put all the Emcomm articles I've referenced onto a single page (tag & filter type) at:


http://k9zw.wordpress.com/tag/emcomm/

73

Steve
K9ZW
http://k9zw.wordpress.com
 
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KE4SKY
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2007, 07:30:27 AM »

Another useful reference:

http://www.iaem.com/documents/ClareReiss-CitizenCorpsVolunteerLiabilityProject.pdf
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KE4SKY
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2007, 07:33:26 AM »

Another list of useful links

http://www.iaem.com/documents/ClaireReiss-WebLinksforAdditionalInformation.pdf
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KE4SKY
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2007, 11:55:06 AM »

The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has approved two new sections of the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act, concerning civil liability protections and workers compensation benefits. For the full text of the new sections, visit

http://www.law.upenn.edu/bll/archives/ulc/uiehsa/2007am_final.htm


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K9ZW
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« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 01:48:32 PM »

Have there been any updates on the Emcomm Insurance issues?

73

Steve
K9ZW

Blog:  http://k9zw.wordpress.com/
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KS4VT
Member

Posts: 141




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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 05:52:53 AM »

Have there been any updates on the Emcomm Insurance issues?

73

Steve
K9ZW

Blog:  http://k9zw.wordpress.com/


You want to read this FEMA document a few times....
http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/downloads/pdf/CERT_Liability_Guide.pdf
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