Frequently Asked Questions
(Recruitment & Renewal)
Frequently Asked Recruitment Questions
Q: I'd love to volunteer, but the thought of getting fingerprinted and having a Live Scan background check is a little invasive. Is that really necessary for a volunteer?
A: For better or worse, it is. While it's not required by the Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Program, although there are provisions for it, it is required to be a volunteer for the City of Burbank. Think of it this way: when you're deployed, you actually become a representative for Burbank, and likewise, the City is liable for your actions. The Live Scan is just one thin layer of protection against people that might otherwise have bad intentions. If it makes you feel any better, even firefighters and police that have been on the force for years are regularly required to submit to Live Scans.
Q: I've never had a background check in my life. What in the world are you looking for?
A: Any criminal record not otherwise sealed by court order will appear; however, each incident is reviewed on a case by case basis by Management Services and after considerations (e.g. type of offense, penalty for the offense, time since offense, etc.) the incident may or may not be grounds for not allowing a person to become a member of the Burbank Fire Corps Program. You will be contacted if there are any questions.
Q: What exactly is a "Oath of Affirmation"?
A: Without getting too philosophical, a Oath of Affirmation (also sometimes called the loyalty oath) is both a psychological threshold and a kind of contract. It's one way to give some reassurance that the person who is being given certain responsibilities has the best interests of the public at heart. In this case, it is a Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Program requirement per California Government Code Sections 3100 through 3109.
Q: Is this oath just for volunteers?
A: No. Volunteers actually take a shortened version of an oath that is administered to members of the California Legislature, and all public officers and employees, executive, legislative, and judicial, except such inferior officers and employees as may be by law exempted.
Q: My religion is prickly about oaths. Can I read this oath in advance?
"I, ______, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter."
Frequently Asked Renewal Questions
Q: My regular work commute involves sherpas during the second leg of the trip. Suffice it to say that I have problems getting in during regular business hours. How can we work around that?
A: The Recruitment office has some flexibility in its hours. Call them first and see if they can accommodate making a custom arrangement. If this still does not work, contact the Fire Corps Coordinator of Volunteer Operations. We'll work together to find a solution.
Q: My card expired! Am I going to have to go through the Live Scan again and that whole process?
A: Probably not. If you're in the system, and have been an active disaster volunteer within the last three years or so, you're probably still classed as an active member. When you contact Live Scan for your renewal, they'll be able to tell you if you'll need to resubmit to a Live Scan.
Q: My card expired... a long time ago. Will I have to go through the Live Scan again?
A: Probably. It will depend on how long ago it expired, whether the Management Services Department still has a record of original Live Scan, and what the current status of your background is.
Q: Back in the day, we got regular reminders that our ID cards were about to expire. Is that not happening anymore?
A: With our Internal Database coming online, we're hoping to be able send reminders soon. However, it is the responsibility of the volunteers to keep their ID cards current.