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Provide a synopsis of the Volunteer Protection Act. What protection does this act provide? Any major omissions in coverage from the volunteer’s perspective? Does participation in a NVOAD agency provide any benefit to the volunteer? Any benefit to the Incident Command organization? 500 words plz
Volunteer Protection Act is either found in the state or the central government levels. The law relates to the applicability of civil liability to organizations. It only applies to the volunteers who have to meet the legal requirement of the state (Groble & Brudney, 2015,). The aims are to promote volunteerism in an environment that is risk-free from any form of liability when acting for nonprofit organizations and government entities (Authenticated U.S. Government Information, 1997). However, this protection can only be in place if the volunteer was qualified and performed his or her responsibilities well with no intention to cause harm.
This act further protects non-profit organizations who coordinate and support volunteers from punitive unintentional damage. As a result, it saves money for these charities, which could have been used to cater for lawsuits. In addition, this coverage also increases the staff power of these entities since volunteers are now more willing to participate. Volunteer protection act does not apply to criminal misbehavior, recklessness, and gross carelessness, conscious, the flagrant indifference of the right or well-being of the individual injured by the volunteer. The act does not apply to harm caused by vehicle, aircraft, vessel or any other vehicle, which is required by the state to possess an operator’s license or a maintenance license (Groble, Zingale, & Mead, 2018). Volunteers for business and entities or organizations utilizing the volunteers do not apply to the act (FEMA, n.d.).
By participating in a National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) agency, a volunteer benefits in various ways such as learning about the organization. This advantage occurs since the volunteers are allowed to see the internal working of the organization (Word & Sowa, 2017). Other benefits enable individuals to find out if they are suitable for a developed career, thereby providing networking opportunities and creating a job opportunity for the participant. Furthermore, the volunteers gain experience, new skills, and strengthen their CV.
The Incident Command Organization has helped in clarifying the chain of command and supervision responsibilities for volunteers, which has improved accountability and also helped in providing an orderly, systematic planning process. Additionally, it has helped in the implementation of a common, predesigned, and flexible managerial structure in addition to fostering cooperation between diverse discipline and agencies (FEMA, n.d.).
Authenticated U.S. Government Information (1997). Volunteer protection act of 1997. Public Law 105-19. Retrieved from https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-105publ19/pdf/P…
FEMA (n.d.). Managing spontaneous volunteers in times of disaster: The synergy of structure and goods intentions
Groble, P., & Brudney, J. L. (2015, April). When good intentions go wrong: Immunity under the Volunteer Protection Act. Nonprofit Policy Forum, 6(1), 3-24. doi: 10.1515/npf-2014-0001
Groble, P., Zingale, N. C., & Mead, J. (2018). Legislation meets tradition: Interpretations and implications of the volunteer protection act for nonprofit organizations as viewed through the lens of hermeneutics. Journal of Public Management & Social Policy, 24(2). Retrieved from https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/urban_facpu…
Word, J. K., & Sowa, J. E. (2017). The nonprofit human resource management handbook: From theory to practice. New York, NY: Routledge.
An effective emergency management involves the integration of all the emergency plans at all levels which include the government, nonprofit organizations, volunteers and community-based organizations. Primarily volunteers are the most significant people who play a major role during emergencies because they are mostly always available and trained for these emergencies. Some years back, volunteers faced a lot of challenges mostly after they caused in the scope of their work. These difficulties discouraged many of the volunteers and so many quitted from the volunteering programs. To protect these volunteers and encourage them to continue with their job, the Volunteer Protection Act (VPA) was enacted.
The volunteer protection act of 1997 (VPA) was signed into law on 18th June 1997. The primary purpose of its enactment was to protect the non-profit organizations, volunteers and the governmental entities in lawsuits that are based on all the activities carried out by volunteers(U.S. Government Publishing Office, 1997). Volunteers, in this case, are all those people who out of the clean heart and meaningful that provide their services expecting nothing back as payment in return. Before the establishments of the act, many people who willing to give their services were deterred by the potential liability actions that acted against them, therefore; many public and private nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and social service agencies were greatly affected because of the withdrawal of many volunteers from their boards. Therefore, after the withdrawal of so many people from these nonprofit programs, their activities of helping people in the community diminished. Thus, the government has been forced to spend a lot of money to carry out all those activities which were carried out by the programs. However, after the creation of the Act, more people are now volunteering themselves to work with these programs to provide free services in the community.
The volunteer protection act provides liability protection for volunteering people under several conditions which include:
People who have not yet been paid their full benefits by the non-profit organization or government entity. volunteers acting inside the scope of that volunteer’s responsibilities in the non-profit institution or in the governmental entity during the time of the action or omission, if the volunteer is legally licensed, authorized or certified by the right authorities to carry out the activities in that state in which the damage or injury occurred, where the volunteers undertook the activities within the scope of their responsibilities in that governmental entity or non-governmental institution. The mistake or harm of a volunteer to an individual did not happen out of gross negligence, criminal misconduct or willingly.
From a volunteer point of view, there are no major omissions by the volunteer protection act but some suggestions might be the in cooperation of volunteers who work in commercial sectors. The reason of this suggestion is that since a volunteer is a person who is willing to offer services without expectation of payments, even those in commercial areas should also be protected by the act to avoid the volunteers being mistreated by their leaders. The protection will also encourage the volunteering people to offer more services. Volunteers have significant benefits in participating in NVOAD agencies reason being that, NVOAD has so many affiliate member organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, habitat for humanity and many more which have the expertise and technical knowledge of dealing with disasters(Groble & Brudney, 2015). Therefore, volunteers in NVOAD will get the privilege of interacting with different nonprofit organizations thus get more knowledge and skills in dealing with getting prepared for any kind of disaster and dealing with emergencies. Another great benefit is that the volunteers will get the opportunity of interacting with people from different nations thus learning new cultures because some the affiliate organizations work with people from different countries. The incident command organization also has benefits of sharing collaborative efforts thereby providing efficient services to society. Additionally, the incident command organization also enjoys the exchange of knowledge and skills from the different affiliates of NVOAD, therefore, getting the competence and expertise of dealing with disaster relief and recovery.
Implication and reflection (I&R) summery
Emergency management is the process of establishing measures of dealing with and avoiding risks caused by calamities. The process is taken into account by different stakeholders like the government, non-governmental organizations, volunteers and the community members. Some decades back, volunteers were faced with a lot of challenges thus many withdrew from the volunteering programs. To protect these individuals and institutions; the Volunteer Protection Act was created. This act protects all people and organizations providing voluntary services from liabilities of harm that occur along their lines of duty(FEMA, 2017). The act protects these individuals because they are usually qualified in providing those services and also harm or accident may occur unknowingly. Before the enactment of the laws, when harm occurred some of these members were sued yet they did not intend to cause any harm which is the reason why many individual volunteers and organizations had quitted. However, if it is determined that an individual caused harm intentionally, the act does not apply its laws in such a case thus the individual has to be taken through the due process of the court.
The federal-state encourages the operations of volunteers in the society because it does not have the capacity to carry out all the services that are provided by such individuals and institutions(Hoffman, Goodman & Stier, 2009). These organizations like the American Red Cross help bring peace in the community because they the assist people with things that they do not have, for instance, in times of a fire disaster where people lose their belongings, this organization provides the victims with basic needs like food and clothing thus the essence of peace. In conclusion to the summery, the state is not liable for including mandatory training to volunteers or applying laws enacted for state employees to them because they carry out their duties voluntarily.
Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2017). National incident management system. FEMA.
FEMA. (2017). Volunteers play integral role in disaster relief and recovery efforts. Retrieved
Groble, P., & Brudney, J. L. (2015, April). When good intentions go wrong: Immunity under the Volunteer Protection Act. In Nonprofit Policy Forum (Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 3-24). De Gruyter.
Hoffman, S., Goodman, R. A., & Stier, D. D. (2009). Law, liability, and public health emergencies. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness, 3(2), 117-125.
U.S. Government Publishing Office. (1997). Public Law 105-19-June 18, 1997: Volunteer