Coordinators and Operations Managers: The volunteers on property will be directly coordinated by either a Volunteer Coordinator or an Operations Manager. The Operations Manager oversees the daily operations of the sanctuary and is the final authority on site operating under the CEO and President.
Coordinator Shirt Color: Coordinators are Purple Level Keepers. There may be more than one Purple Level Keeper onsite on any given day. Be sure to check the calendar each day to see who the assigned Coordinator is.
Operations Manager: There will always be at a minimum one Operations Manager on site each day during the hours that the public and volunteers are on the premises. This Operations Manager will have access to and will be trained in the use of meds, darts, guns, medical, and capture equipment. Volunteers may be used to assist the Operations Manager. Operations Managers may be any level deemed appropriate by the CEO and President and will be fully trained in every aspect that the job of Coordinator requires.
Volunteer Coordinators: Volunteer Coordinator candidates will be selected and approached by the Operations Manager. If a volunteer wishes to serve in this capacity he or she can submit a request to the Volunteer Committee. Volunteers that have been trained and certified may be assigned to coordinate volunteers in either the keeper department or the partner department or both. Volunteer Coordinators coordinating the keeper department must be at least a Green Level Senior Keeper. Volunteer Coordinators coordinating the partner department must be at least a Green Level Senior Partner.
Volunteer Coordinator Leadership: The Staff and the Volunteer Committee depend on the Volunteer Coordinators to lead by example and to assist in our efforts to help our volunteers and interns develop and grow within the program. Your knowledge regarding Big Cat Rescue’s mission, policies, and day-to-day operations are crucial in helping us orient and guide Red, Yellow, and Green Level Volunteers as well as Interns. We ask for your assistance in encouraging each and every volunteer you come in contact with at the sanctuary through positive reinforcement. Together we are working to build a cohesive team of individuals geared towards the care of our resident cats as well as advocating for big cats in the wild as well as in captivity.Volunteer Coordinators are looked up to and expected to know the inner workings of the sanctuary as well as to be completely informed of the latest changes and updates to standard operating procedures. It is vital that you keep up to date by frequently checking the Important Updates, the Volunteer Blog, and by reading the monthly Volunteer Newsletter. Doing so will prepare you to assist and guide other volunteers as they move through the ranks of the Keeper and Partner departments. Supporting the decisions of the Staff, Volunteer Committee, and veterinarians as well as the existing policies of Big Cat Rescue are a must when serving as a Volunteer Coordinator. Your support filters down through the ranks from navy to red and we depend on you to unite yourself with the mission of the sanctuary. Should you ever have any questions or concerns please direct them to the individual or group directly and privately. The Staff, Volunteer Committee, and veterinarians are always happy to answer any questions or explain policies. It is imperative to the success of the volunteer program that those who are coordinated by you observe Volunteer Coordinators working in conjunction with the Staff, Volunteer Committee, and veterinarian as a cohesive group working towards one goal. Last, but certainly not least, we encourage you to solicit volunteers to join in our efforts to create legislation that protects big cats and all wild animals by visiting CatLaws.com often and writing their legislators when important issues are being considered. This can best be achieved by example and sharing with volunteers the latest issues and the importance of being a voice for the animals.
Responsibilities: Volunteer Coordinators are depended upon to arrive ahead of and leave after the volunteers in the department for which they are coordinating, assign the tours, cleaning or feeding sections and projects to appropriately trained volunteers and interns, provide opportunities for those who are training in these tasks to observe or be observed and ensure that certification sign off sheets are filled out when needed, oversea the operations in the department for which is being coordinated and be available on the radio throughout the day to answer questions, assign new tasks, to respond to emergencies, and to provide classes or arrange for classes to be taught to volunteers and interns as needed.
Daily Tasks: Volunteer Coordinators will be provided with a detailed outline of tasks to be accomplished by an Operations Manager or Gift Shop Manager (depending on the department being coordinated). The Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for assigning these tasks to appropriately trained volunteers and interns. The Operations manager or Gift Shop Manager will be available via phone or radio for any issues that the Volunteer Coordinator may need assistance with resolving. Volunteer Coordinators will be provided with a chain of command protocol for emergency situations.
Scheduling: Volunteer Coordinators should schedule themselves with the approval of an Operations Manager so that every day of the week has adequate Coordinator coverage.
Scheduling Yourself as a Coordinator on the Calendar: Log into the Big Cat Rescuer Information Center, choose Volunteer capacity (not Coordinator). Once logged in to the Big Cat Rescuer Information Center click the tab titled My Schedule. Use the green buttons at the top of the calendar to scroll backwards or forwards through the months. When you find the day that you want to schedule yourself for click the box for that day. A screen will open showing you who else is scheduled for that day. Click the green button at the right of the screen that says Schedule Me. Be sure to click the correct green button, one will be to the right of your volunteer level, one will be to the right of Coordinator, and one will be to the right of Off-Site Events. Select the start and stop times that you plan on volunteering that day using the drop down boxes and then click Continue. A screen will open asking you to verify the schedule information you have submitted. If the information is correct click Yes. A screen will open saying Thank You. Click Continue to go back to the calendar view. You can add yourself to the calendars (any month) up to 100 times each month and can even schedule yourself up to 6 months in advance.
Change the volunteer schedule or remove a volunteer that is scheduled: A volunteer can remove themselves from the schedule up to 24 hours prior to their scheduled volunteer day. After this time the volunteer no longer has the option to remove themselves and must contact the coordinator for that day to inform them of their unavailability. This feature has been set up to decrease the occurrences of volunteers removing themselves from the schedule and not giving the Coordinator enough time to find a replacement in turn leaving the Coordinator short handed. To remove a volunteer from the schedule you must sign in to the Big Cat Rescuer Information Center, choose Coordinator capacity and then click the green Go button. Once logged in to the Big Cat Rescuer Information Center click the tab titled My Schedule. Use the green buttons at the top of the calendar to scroll backwards or forwards through the months. When you find the day that you want to remove the scheduled click the box for that day. (The boxes for each day will be very long as they list each volunteer scheduled for each day. You may need to scroll down to find the appropriate box for the day). A window will open with the date appearing at the top and the volunteers scheduled for that day listed. Click the blue link titled Change to the left of the volunteer’s schedule and name you want to remove. A window will open proving you with options to; Change the start and end times for that day’s schedule, Replace the scheduled volunteer with another volunteer, Remove the volunteer, or Add a reoccurring schedule for the volunteer. Make the needed changes and then click the green Save button.
Rewards: Operations Managers and Volunteer Coordinators may hand out free tour passes and 2-for-1 passes to reward exceptional volunteerism. These passes can be obtained from the Gift Shop.
Infractions of Volunteer Rules, Code of Conduct, & Code of Honor: The Volunteer Program Policies, Code of Conduct and Code of Honor apply to all Volunteers, Interns, Staff, and Guests (where applicable) while on the property. Each person is responsible to abide by and enforce these Policies and Codes. Any infraction of the Policies or Codes should be immediately brought to the violator’s attention as well as to the Coordinator and the Volunteer Committee. The Volunteer Coordinator should first council the violator and then must log the incident on the Volunteer Coordinator site. The Volunteer Committee will review these entries and fill out an Incident Report (available on the BigCat.me site in the Training and Docs section on the left hand side bar) when deemed necessary. This report should be filled out with the pertinent information. The Volunteer Committee will decide the appropriate action or disciplinary measure (demotion, dismissal, etc.). Any infraction of BCR policies or code of conduct may result in an Incident Report, which will become a permanent record in the violator’s file.
Coordinators@BigCatRescue.org: As a Volunteer Coordinator you will be added to a list of volunteers who receive emails sent to Coordinators@BigCatRescue.org. Emails are sent to this address to inform Coordinators of important updates, special requests, or other needs. The Volunteer Committee sends feedback requests to this address as well when considering promotion applications. By sending an email to Coordinators@BigCatRescue.org you can reach all of the Volunteer Coordinators (Keeper & Partner) with one email.
Feedback from Coordinators: The Volunteer Committee will consult with the appropriate Volunteer Coordinators and Operations Manager to receive feedback on the applicants overall performance within the program. If the Volunteer Coordinator or Operations Manager is not confident in the applicant’s current abilities the Volunteer Committee will take this into advisement and may speak with and encourage the applicant to focus on sharpening these specific skills in question and then reapply for promotion after a designated period of time established by the Volunteer Committee. The Volunteer Coordinator and Operations Manager will also be advised to monitor the applicant’s improvements over the designated period of time after which the Volunteer Committee, the Volunteer Coordinator and Operations Manager will reevaluate the application for promotion.
Radio Transmissions: Radio transmissions must be monitored by the Volunteer Coordinator throughout the day for questions or emergencies.
Management of Hostile Guests: If a guest becomes disruptive or hostile the volunteer, intern, or staff member has several options. The tour guide may announce to the tour that due to the person’s conduct the entire tour group must return to the gift shop or the nearest access gate to the parking lot to escort the guest off property after which the tour will resume. The tour guide may call on the radio for a Coordinator Check and specify the location, which is code alerting the coordinator that there is a disruptive guest. The coordinator may then escort the guest off the property. Depending on the severity of the disruption and the instincts of the volunteer, intern, staff member, or coordinator, 911 should be called. If 911 is called from a land line, after dialing, the phone may be left unattended off the receiver so the caller can get back to the disruptive guest or situation. Police will automatically be dispatched to the location even if the caller does not speak to the operator. If 911 is called from a cell phone, the caller must give the operator the address to which the police should be dispatched to. The disruptive guest should be notified that the police have been called (even if they have not, it may be a good tool to use to get the guest off the property) then the guest should be escorted to their car and asked to leave the property. In any instance of a disruptive guest, the tour guide should begin walking their group back to the gift shop or nearest access gate to the parking lot. Standing in one place and continuing the confrontation should be avoided. If police are called to the property and the disruptive guest is refusing to be escorted back to the gift shop or the parking lot, gift shop staff or volunteers should request the location of the disturbance on the radio and then escort the police to the location.
Security of Animal Information Files: Any printed or digital information about the cats and their health must always be readily available to our staff, vets, and appropriate volunteers. Such information shall not be moved, copied, altered, shared, deleted, or taken off of the property without express permission from the CEO or President.