Disaster Service Worker (DSW)

Santa Cruz County issues special badges to volunteers who have completed various types of training useful in an emergency. These volunteers are known as Disaster Service Workers (DSWs). Even if you have a DSW badge from another service, like a green CERT badge or a yellow Animal Rescue (Equine Evac) badge, you need a red Communications badge to deploy with ARES. Your Communications DSW badge indicates your level of proficiency and experience as detailed in ARES Training Requirements. To get a badge, you must qualify at ARES Level 1 or higher (have FEMA IS-100 completed at a minimum). (A DSW card is available for basic ARES members, but it does not have a picture on it.) Being a DSW allows you to be covered by worker’s compensation and other insurance when you are properly activated and deployed for disasters, emergencies, and select training exercises.

Please follow the instructions below for filling out the DSW card application:

  • Fill out the yellow highlighted fields inside the red box only! Do NOT fill out the “Loyalty Oath or Affirmation” box (even though it has fields that are highlighted in yellow).
  • If the applicant is a minor, the “Parent/Legal Guardian Consent for Minor” section must be signed and dated.
  • Scan and email the completed form to EOC.ARES@santacruzcountyca.gov (please copy Gary (skypoodleg@gmail.com) and Roberta (robertajoiner1155@gmail.com) on this email), requesting an appointment for Photo and swearing in.
  • Include DSW APP, Name and Callsign in Subject line. Example: DSW APP, Jane Doe AA6HAM
  • If you can’t scan the form, send an email to EOC.ARES@santacruzcountyca.gov, requesting an appointment for Photo, swearing in, and dropping off of application. (Please copy Gary (skypoodleg@gmail.com) and Roberta (robertajoiner1155@gmail.com) on this email.)
  • If you have completed the FEMA IS-100 course and have not previously sent in your completion certificate, attach it to your email as well. You may also attach any other FEMA ICS course certificates you may have.