Yep, absolutely.There is clearly a place for amateur radio service and that is to pass traffic. In an emergency it is obviously not the first choice when cellular or Iridium service are available. Additionally, with amateur radio one never knows if someone is monitoring whether simplex or via a repeater. My tax dollars were used to build the professional infrastructure and I like it that way. Using amateur radio to pass traffic is also where I have spent money and I like it that way.
I think what most are pointing out is that amateur radio operators on their own are not first responders. They are trained to operate a piece of equipment. That equipment can absolutely be useful. But a radio is just one tool in the first responders tool box.
Doesn't matter where the guy is from, it applies everywhere.
And it's a very valid point. Amateur radio operators need to train as teams. They need to have reliable equipment. They need to know their place (as in -not getting in the way-). And ideally, they need to have more tools in their tool box than just radio. Amateur clubs interested in assisting agencies should understand the incident command structure. They should have first aid/first responder training. They should be able to do more than just operate a radio. With modern radio equipment, satellite systems, ALE on HF, the need for dedicated radio operators is shrinking to the point that it's not really necessary in most cases. Most large agencies have on staff radio guys that can fill in where needed (any most of them are hams…) Large agencies, local and state OES, etc. have portable systems that can be brought in.
Living in California we face a lot of disasters. Just recently we had wide spread shut downs of the electric utility. After a few hours cellular sites failed. But our radio systems stayed up just fine. Our wired telephones stayed up just fine. At no point did anyone consider calling in amateur radio operators to assist.
I'm a ham. Amateur radio has its place. Some hams don't want to hear that. I get it.