More on your vollie/paid barrier: as an unpaid basic volunteer I have questioned that myself, but the concept of CERT is to "mobilize laypersons", not 'recruit staff". With today's cutbacks it will be interesting to see what functions paid depts try to use CERT grads in; due to legal, liability and administrative mandates, I'm thinking not too many.
In spite of cutbacks, we private citizens need to "take some control" of these programs, for they are truly ours based on the fact, without us laypersons, these programs would not exist. "legal, liability and administrative mandates" are crippling these programs in my country, forcing us to take charge ourselves so we can actually be effective when emergency arises. The training is there and we are taking it, now it's simply a matter of prying loose those tax dollars and we are approaching it with a where there is a will, there is a way. During this process, we are also registering voters, so one way or another, it WILL happen. <evil grin>