Re: Basic Ham Emcomm Presentation for Town Leadership

Steve Hansen

First off, thanks to everyone who has submitted materials either through this forum or direct. I think we have enough fodder.

Our team is ARES/RACES-CERT and we have quarterly exercises with the county plus statewide exercises and a bunch of community service events (bike rides, charity walks and swims, etc.).

I spoke with the county director this AM. He verified that the town in question has not previously participated in any county-wide exercises nor are they yet NIMS compliant. So they've got some work to do aside from any amateur involvement. The town is also one of the more affluent ones in the county.

We have similar issues with several of the island communities. Their comms infrastructure is fragile anyway.

73, Steve KB1TCE

On 07/28/2017 11:08 AM, Randy McGill wrote:

Hi, I encourage your effort to reach out directly to your city/county government.  One of the things that I think ARES has forgotten is that we are a "public service" entity.  IMHO ARES has aligned it's function too narrowly, in that we consider it to be an auxiliary arm of governmental agencies.  ARES can serve any legitimate public service agency whether it be city, county, federal or non governmental organization providing that we don't interfere with ongoing public service communications and stay in our lane. 


"Never debate with an idiot.  They only drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

From: <> on behalf of Tim Reimers KA4LFP <treimers95@...>
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2017 7:16 AM
Subject: Re: [nbems] Basic Ham Emcomm Presentation for Town Leadership
That's kind of what and how I've seen some EM responders react.
In a crisis, the last thing they want is a new group of helpers showing up wanting to work the scene or be involved.

This is why it's critical to have a relationship with the county EM and have some pre-planned knowledge of where and how amateur radio fits in.

Otherwise that's exactly what we can be perceived as doing - Trying to horn in on a well oiled and trained machine that counts on fully understanding what resources they have, even to knowing personalities and foibles and knowing who to put where because of who can work together well and which two people not to put in the same room.

Suddenly adding a whole bunch of unknown quantities of amateur operators to that machine can make a personality-aware Fire/EMS/other incident commander go crazy, especially if the implied attitude from the ham is that "you need my help you just don't know it".
 That's why connections from higher up that are organized and planned and roles understood are so key.
 and it might quite possibly be that hams are not at the center of things and are comms for less key areas.

I have made it very clear to my employer (municipal IT) that my first duty lies with my day job of supporting IT infrastructure for fire and police, NOT going off to play radio. But, equally, that if i am not needed locally and have vacation days, I may go assist in a disaster elsewhere. I don't want my employer to go with that same line of "choose where you work, there or here".

73, Tim


“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power.” - Abraham Lincoln


On Jul 27, 2017 9:57 PM, "WA8JXM" <wa8jxm@...> wrote:
On 7/27/17 3:26 PM, Steve Hansen wrote:
The background is that a group of hams in one of our county's towns is trying to get the attention of the town management, many of whom don't see a need for amateur radio support. In fact, they seem to have a rather passive attitude toward communications preparedness in general.

I think many officials would rather live with a problem they understand rather than rely on solutions they do not understand or control.

Many years ago (42 to be exact) I was RACES RO and a volunteer firefighter/EMT.   I mentioned to my fire chief that in any large area disaster I had county responsibilities.  His response was that I needed to make my choice.   That's when I pretty much got out of ham radio and MARS for many years.

A fire chief knows how to run his department.   Dealing with other organizations and people in the middle is usually  a distraction and many will find it more effective to just concentrate on the task in front of them.  When resources are stretched, communications is not the main issue, trained personnel and equipment is the issue.

I am just trying to give some perspective from the other side.

73, Ken WA8JXM

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