Monday, April 4, marks the beginning of a new seven–part series of Salvation Army Disaster Radio training podcasts. Not surprisingly, given the rather unoriginal title, each episode of the Seven Services series will focus on a different Salvation Army disaster service.
“We almost called the series the Magnificent Seven Services,” admitted podcast host Christie Sutton, “Kind of a play on the name of that old movie with Yule Brynner and Steve McQueen. My co-host Jeff even brought it up on the last episode of the 2010 podcast season (See ICS Hendecagon – Part 11: The Policy Group). Only Jeff thought the movie was about gladiators … and it’s actually a western. So like most of Jeff’s jokes it fell flat … and we had to change the name.”
The new series will follow a format similar to the marginally acclaimed 11-part ICS Hendecagon Series which provided an overview of the Incident Command System. That series, which is still available on-line and in finer haberdasheries, spotlighted each of the nine key ICS positions and ended with a special episode for Salvation Army leadership discussing the role of the Policy Group during a major disaster.
“I got the idea for the ICS series from my studies at college,” said series creator Jeff Jellets. “Whenever I was assigned a book to study, I’d immediately buy that book -- on tape. So these podcasts are kind of like the book-on-tape version of ICS. Each podcast tells you everything need to know about a given ICS position, and your only commitment is to listen.”
The Seven Services series does have its differences from the ICS series. In addition to examining each service’s strengths, challenges and untapped opportunities, every episode will also feature a surprise mystery guest! Long-time fans of Disaster Radio were reportedly thrilled to hear about the mystery guest addition -- as many hoped that it would leave less time for the show's two regular hosts to babble. One clever wit said, “They call ‘em a mystery guest because it’s a mystery why anyone would want to come on that show!”
As deadlines seem to elude Disaster Radio staff members, show execs promised that episodes of the new training series would be inter-mixed with other topics. The suits promised more field reports from disaster sites and more episodes featuring expert panels -- similar to last year's immensely popular Canteen Crew podcast that gave practical advice about how to maintain and operate a Salvation Army canteen. Future "crews" on public information, information technology, emotional & spiritual care, and government relations are all in the works for 2011.
So ... finally ... what are The Salvation Army’s Seven Services? The podcast hosts aren’t telling, but they did provide a fill-in-the-blank puzzle:
1. Disaster _ _ _ _ Services
2. In- _ _ _ _ D_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Management
3. E _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ & S _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Care
4. Disaster S_ _ _ _ _ S_ _ _ _ _ _ _
5. Sh_ _ _ _ _ _
6. Emergency C _ mm _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
7. C_ _ _ _-U_ & R _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
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