DSW Information

How and why to sign up as a Los Altos DSW Volunteer

We recommend that all Los Altos hams that are active in LAARES to sign up as Disaster Service Worker (DSW) Volunteers.  The reason is pretty simple:  in an emergency the city cannot use your expertise unless you are signed up as a DSW Volunteer.   Signing up as a DSW Volunteer will provide you with some basic coverage in the case you get hurt while on the job.  This is not a replacement for private insurance so don't think of it as that.

Some hams ask "why do I have to do a Livescan background check?"  Again, it's a simple answer.  When you are activated by the city, you are essentially an unpaid (volunteer) member of the city staff.  All city employees go through the Livescan process so it makes sense that we go through the same process as well.  

The process is pretty easy:

  1. Print the three files below.
  2. Fill out the "Request for a Livescan" form.
  3. Using the "Livescan Options" document, choose a location and get the Livescan done.
  4. Take a selfie.  For your ID badge, a picture from the shoulders up on a plain background is needed.  This is very similar to a passport photo, but you don't need to go to the expense of a passport photo.
  5. Fill out the "Los Altos DSW Volunteer Registration" form, but do not sign it  yet.
  6. Contact Ann Hepenstal to make an appointment to get sworn in.  Ann's contact information is on the bottom of the "Livescan Options" document.