Get Involved

Get Involved.  OES manages the city Emergency Services Volunteer (ESV) organization.  Whatever your interest, we can find a role for you.  Explore the websites below to learn more.  

ESV Program
Mission & Concept of Operations:

The mission of the Palo Alto Emergency Services Volunteers (ESV) is to: 1) provide supplemental resources to the professional first responders of the City and surrounding communities and 2) facilitate means for neighbors to help neighbors (including business and other entities). 

The ESV organization supports the mission of the Palo Alto/Stanford Citizen Corps Council (CCC): "The mission of the Palo Alto/Stanford Citizen Corps is to harness the power of individuals, businesses, and organizations through education, training and volunteer service to make communities resilient, safe, strong and prepared to respond to and recover from threats of 1) natural disasters, 2) human-caused disasters, 3) crime, 4) public health emergencies, 5) terrorism, and 6) disasters of all kinds."

The Emergency Services Volunteers nomenclature is an "umbrella" to include all City-sponsored emergency preparedness volunteer programs, such as ARES/RACES (ham radio), Block Preparedness Coordinators (BPC) & Neighborhood Preparedness Coordinators (NPCs), and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers.

According to the Palo Alto Municipal Code (PAMC) Sec. 2.12.070, ESVs are a part of the City's Emergency Organization: "All officers and employees of this city, together with those volunteer forces enrolled to aid them during an emergency, and all groups, organizations, and persons who may by agreement or operation of law ... be charged with duties incident to the protection of life and property in the city during such emergency, shall constitute the emergency organization of the city of Palo Alto." (emph. added)

The Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services (OES) is the sponsor of the ESV program.  Because OES serves all City departments (including Public Safety (Police & Fire), Public Works, Community Services, etc.), ESVs may be deployed, at the discretion of OES, to function in various capacities to suit their requirements or the needs of our mutual aid partners, including Stanford University, Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, NASA Ames Moffett Field, etc

Volunteer Program Descriptions:

Neighborhood and Block Preparedness Coordinator Program

Palo Alto CERT Program


Palo Alto Medical Reserve Corps

Want to become an ESV?
Click Here for the ESV Application Form

ESV References:

ESV Policy and SOP Manual 
The mission of the Palo Alto Emergency Services Volunteers (ESV) is to: 1) provide supplemental resources to the professional first responders of the City and surrounding communities and 2) facilitate means for neighbors to help neighbors (including business and other entities). [ more ]
Revised 15 December 2015
Emergency Services Volunteer Map: Neighborhoods & Registered Members
Map of Palo Alto neighborhoods and all registered Emergency Services Volunteers. Take a look and see how many volunteers live in your neighborhood. [ more ]
  ESV Training Program Guide
This guide provides details of course dates and descriptions of course material.
[ more ]
Neighborhood FRS Radio Channels
This document provides the radio channels and NPC name for each neighborhood as of June 8th 2016. We will update this document as we receive updated information from the neighborhoods. 
[ more ]
ESV Exercise and Training Calendar
This calendar provides the training and exercise events sponsored by the City of Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services for the Emergency Services Volunteer Program.  For more information call us at 650-617-3197.
more ]
ESV Photo Gallery
Photos from the award ceremony hosted on the ESV Member website
[ more ]
FRS Radio 101 YouTube Series
Short YouTube tutorial series on using your FRS radio and working with the Damage Assessment Form
[ more ]
  ESV Trifold Brochure
Public Information brochure detailing the different aspects of the ESV Program
[ more ]

ESV Member Website:

The VEOCI Emergency Management System is the home of the new and improved ESV member website. Click the link to go to the VEOCI Dashboard, your "one-stop" ESV information portal.

Last Updated: Sep 20, 2016
Emergency Preparedness Poster Contest 2016 Results Announced
The City of Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services announces the winners of the Emergency Preparedness Poster Art Contest held in Mar-Apr 2016.

The contest was open to Grades 1 to 8 of Palo Alto Unified School District.


ARES/RACES Changes to Checkins and Frequencies
Monday Night Net Early Check in Change. Beginning on The period of time for early check in to the Palo Alto and North section of the SPECS net is changing. The time for early check in will start, as it has in the past, at 7:30, but it will end at 7:50 to allow 10 minutes before the main SPECS net to check in to the UHF/220 repeater net. This change is also being made by Sunnyvale, which also has an early check in practice like Palo Alto. The regular check in time after the main SPECS net starting about 8:10 to 8:15 (depending on how many announcements there are) will continue as at present. Check in with your AECs if you have questions.

Change to UHF frequencies for CERT District 1 and 4. We have learned over the last several months that our CERT District 1 and 4 primary UHF channels have been interfering with the repeater operations of two organizations who are in compliance with the Northern Amateur Relay Council of California (NAARC) coordinated repeater plan ( In coordination with the AEC's, Palo Alto OES is directing that we no longer use the primary frequencies for D1: 445.150 MHz and D4: 445.450 MHz and instead immediately begin using the alternate frequencies for D1: 446.000 MHz and D4: 446.400 MHz. Please update your radio programming to make this change.