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 18 May 2013
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 ]
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 ]
Community Partnership Awards Ceremony Photo Gallery
Photos from the award ceremony hosted on the ESV Member website
[ more ]

ESV Member Websites:

The links below are intended for the use of registered members of the ESV program.  There are five websites that are linked to a relational database with a ‘Parent Site’ for overall ESV program management and ‘Child Sites’ for specific team management.  OES staff and select ESV’s have administrative rights to the Parent site.  It is from this site,, that we will schedule training events and activities on the training calendar, insert documents for sharing, post gallery photos, and compose monthly newsletters. It is also a tool we will use to provide alerts and activations in accordance with our ESV policy manual and SOPs.






Last Updated: Mar 18, 2015
Palo Alto Foothills Area Safety Presentation

The City of Palo Alto, Stanford University Department of Public Safety, and the Midpeninsula Fire Safe Council will be hosting our annual public education session for residents, businesses, and others who live and work in the foothills (including neighboring jurisdictions). This event is free and open to anyone who is interested. The session will cover all aspects of public safety, including crime, wildland fire, and emergency preparedness.

Learn more:

Tuesday, July 28th: 7-8:30pm
3160 Porter Drive, Palo Alto [MAP]


2014 Community Partnership Awards
On January 15th, the Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services hosted the 2014 Community Partnership Awards in the Palo Alto Council Chambers. These awards celebrate the great service of volunteers and organizations helping to prepare Palo Alto for major disasters.

2013 Award Recipients

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.

Congratulations Pat Barrett 2014 Palo Alto Mick McDonald Volunteer of the Year
The Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services would like to congratulate Pat Barrett for his selection as the Mick McDonald Volunteer of the Year for Palo Alto. Pat was presented this award by Nathan Rainey, Emergency Services Coordinator, and joined by Police Chief Dennis Burns, and OES Director Ken Dueker during a luncheon in San Jose on December 2014.

New CERT team class
The Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services congratulates Palo Alto's newest CERT graduates. Fifteen students completed twenty-four hours of emergency preparedness and first response training over three weeks, including a SF Giants World Series Title, and culminating in a five hour field day on Saturday, November 1st, 2014. This "World Series" class is now prepared to assist their neighbors when the next disaster strikes.