As discussed in the last post, there are those who are against credentialing, for their own reasons. Because I have had plenty of discussions about the subject, I think I have the discussions channeled into four groups (and if you have a different argument, let me know, because I don't want to miss anything on the subject). I plan to talk about each of these in a little more depth, but I wanted to at least put the parameters of the argument out there.
First, we have the genuine thing, the spontaneous bystander, who sees a need for action, then does something about it. The discussion I have heard so far from this camp is that there should be nothing that would stand in the way of people who just have a desire to help their neighbors and do the right thing. Quarantelli discusses the social aspects of emergent response from spontaneous bystanders in Katrina, but also in the Guadalajara gasoline spill and fire. Plain ol' people like every other neighbor you ever had saved lives, and were not agents of the government, had no training, and only did so in the effort to help others. There's something very beautiful in that, but call me skeptical, I see a lot of response from people who claim that is their motive, but I'm not seeing that altruism coming out when they're out operating the video camera or taking souvenirs, rather than manning a sand-bag line. More about THAT kind of person later.
We also have the disaffected group/person I call the "outsider". Having been one on a few occasions, I can certainly empathize with their cause, but I don't necessarily sympathize with their way of handling things all the time. Often, these are people who have a lot of training, or maybe come from somewhere where they had a lot of training and experience, and the place they are now in life won't make room to allow them in. There are dozens of reasons we will discuss, but there are also some issues regarding the credentialing side of things that would STRENGTHEN their position if they were in fact, truly qualified but being marginalized.
Then there are those who are currently the jurisdictional responder but are afraid the light of truth will expose that their organization/agency is not following industry standards, or that they are not ready, or are failing in any number of reasons. These people really don't have much sympathy from me in regard to their argument against credentialing. However, there might be some discussion that merits a look. I'll reserve my judgement for now.
And finally, there are the thrill and glory seekers. They might be there for the attention, they might be there for the notch in their gun, or they may be there to profit by defrauding the response community. So as of now, this is where I stand and these are the arguments I want to discuss at first. There are in some, compelling ideas. There are in the others, no possible way you'll be able to get me to support their theory. But we'll talk about them and I'd love to get your thoughts on the subject. See you in a few.