Volunteering/being a volunteer is neither an outdoor activity to release anger or feelings nor is it just a matter of showing the world that you can donate or rise to the occasion. Donations need to come from sincere hearts. Individuals are doing it to fulfill personal pressure, to increase their self-esteem and as a social responsibility. Research provided in the class readings reveals shocking revelations of donations especially those given in kind. It is astonishing to hear that donating blood or drugs can be accompanied by negative outcomes. How can offering help result in worse situations? – Disaster Volunteerism. The donations include expired drugs, drugs of low quality, poor labeling and assortment, irrelevant drugs, ignorance of custom procedures, incorrect drug quantities and the recipient incurring custom charges that are very high. Spontaneous volunteers, on the other hand, can hinder cross roles, medical oversight, proper structure of demand and or may put their lives and other people in danger. The best way is to ensure clarity in the communication of needs and resources to avoid unnecessary drug dumping. Also, the WHO taking a step to establish guidelines on the products being donated will ensure safety for these disaster-stricken individuals; and they did in 1999. As much as volunteering is important with research pointing out to several emergency cases like in the collapse of Nimitz Freeway rescue of 49 out of 50 individuals by bystanders, it cannot work without organizations, regulations, and training and channeling to ensure their safety and individuals they are trying to save.
“Provide a synopsis of the Volunteer Protection Act.
The Volunteer Protection Act (VPA) of 1997 was meant to promote volunteerism In non-profit organization entities. It is a pre-emption of the existing loose laws under which the volunteers are currently under, hence encouraging individuals to take part in more social services. Under this act, no emergency needs to be declared to be protected by the VPA. The Act protects against civil liability if only the volunteer:
Acted according to his or her job description.
Possessed proper documentation including certifications, under authorization to act or proper licensing.
Harm whether by will conduct, gross negligence, criminal activities or a conscious was caused by the volunteer.
Also, no harm befell anyone while on an aircraft, a vehicle or a bicycle.
Since there is no telling if the state laws will be the same all through, VPA gives consistent protection to non-profit individuals
What protection does this act provide?
The Volunteer Protection Act provides immunity to the non-profit organizations’ volunteers from a lawsuit from an individual believing they were hurt by the volunteer. The Act is meant to expand traditional notions of a sovereign community, laws of a good Samaritan and charitable immunity found more on the state level. It protects from liability abuse to volunteers both serving the governmental and organizational entities. This Act is only applied to those individuals and not the organization as a whole in which they volunteer and not the organization
Any major omissions in coverage from the volunteer’s perspective?
The VPA is not mandated, however, to give protection to an individual whose organization’s litigation has been served at the doorstep for going against the criteria mentioned in the synopsis. A noteworthy issue is that non-profit organization litigation is not protected by VPA. Organizations are liable for the individual’s recklessness even if the individual under VPA’s immune. This is to mean, organizations have a duty or a responsibility to ensure that their volunteers are acting following the law and carry out duties assorted to them. To better understand this, we can consider a severely punished child for swimming in a pool sponsored by the church. The individual who is liable in this case would not the counselor of the volunteering camp however, the church is to blame for not hiring a lifeguard who has undergone training.
Does participation in a (National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster – nvoad.org NVOAD) agency provide any benefit to the volunteer?
Getting involved with VOAD helps volunteers to offer improved services throughout the cycle’s stages while encouraging a cooperative climate. Through a conference, volunteers can meet and exchange ideas or share on the best practices that would result in communities that are more resilient. The services and products are given at a discount and enable members to voice concerns to the federal agencies like the DHS and FEMA.
Any benefit to the Incident Command organization?
As identified, spontaneous volunteering can cause more harm than good. Under the National Volunteer Organizations Active disaster, it supports a member’s work through responding to a disaster or helping the recovery of a community. It is through VOAD that coordinated as well as facilitated communication, along with actions of other organizations who are apart of VOAD and the agencies of managing emergencies. With these structures of communication in place, there is effective service delivery to those affected…
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