ARRL East Bay Section

Archive for the 'Emergency Communications' Category

ARRL East Bay Section Presence at Pacificon 2016

Posted by af6aq on 30th August 2016

As in the past, there will be some East Bay Section offerings at Pacificon 2016. These will be on Sunday morning so you will have a reason, in addition to the raffle drawing in the afternoon, to attend the Sunday session of Pacificon.

I will be hosting an open EB Section meeting where you will have a chance to meet and ask questions of the Section level leadership. In addition, there will be a drawing for some ARRL books as door prizes.

Section Emergency Coordinator, John Rabold KS6M has also arranged for an EC-001 test session and a Disaster Communications Workshop.

Successful completion of EC-001 Introduction to Emergency Communications is one requirement for achieving the Full Member designation in ARRL East Bay Section ARES (“EB-ARES”). You must prepare yourself to take this examination in advance, on your own, and you must successfully complete its two prerequisite courses. Details about the course and this exam session are on our East Bay Section Web site.

Please share your ideas and suggestions for the Disaster Communications Workshop, sponsored by the  ARRL East Bay Section ARES (“EB-ARES”) with John Rabold. The workshop structure will de-emphasize the speaker-listener format and instead encourage observing, participating in, and discussing a skill or procedure, inspiring attendees and help them expand their abilities as ham communicators. Several years ago we held a workshop on the subject of the NBEMS/fldigi software suite and the MT-63 digital mode. We were not prepared for the huge number of hams who showed up, so attendees didn’t get the hands-on exposure we’d hoped for. For this year, John os collecting ideas — beginning right now — for a similar workshop. What can we present as a team, how can we involve attendees, and how can we cope effectively with just a few or a flood of curious hams? If you have a disaster-communications-related idea — whether you’d like to design the workshop, specialize in equipment setup at the session, be on the presenting team, or just “lateral” some thoughts for others to execute — please let Johne know. Possibilities include a return to fldigi and other apps in the NBEMS suite, specific digital modes, other digital techniques like Winlink 2000, voice skills and techniques, or even disaster communications tasks that support but do not include the use of the radio.

Check the Pacificon 2016 web page for times and locations of these special events.

I look forward to seeing you at Pacificon! 73 !


Jim Latham, AF6AQ – ARRL Life Member
Section Manager – East Bay (Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, and Solano Counties)
ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio™

Posted in Emergency Communications, Field Organization, Pacificon, Section News | Comments Off on ARRL East Bay Section Presence at Pacificon 2016

Emergency Communication Course Exam Offered

Posted by ks6m on 13th August 2016

Amateur Radio operators and others who are studying the ARRL’s Introduction to Emergency Communication Course (EC-001) can take the course’s examination in mid-October, earning the ARRL completion certificate.

ARRL Field Examiners have scheduled an EC-001 exam session to begin at 8:00 am on Sunday, October 16, 2016. It will be held at Pacificon, the ARRL Pacific Division Convention, at the San Ramon Marriott Hotel. Exam candidates must be registered as Pacificon attendees in order to access the exam site. Registration for the exam session itself is not required.

This exam-only session is listed on the ARRL Web site. The exam fee is $15. The exam consists of 35 multiple-choice questions, and a passing score is 80% or better.

EC-001 is designed to provide basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer. One need not be a licensed Amateur Radio operator to sit for the exam or earn the completion certificate. Candidates for this exam will have studied the course materials on line, in a local Field Class, or by studying the course transcript, The ARRL Introduction to Emergency Communication Course, 4th Edition. Be sure to obtain the updates for this text under the heading “Introduction to Emergency Communication Course Transcript” in the ARRL Store’s Product Notes.

Candidates must complete and obtain certificates for two free online FEMA EMI Independent Study courses before beginning their EC-001 course studies. Those courses are IS-100, “Introduction to Incident Command System”, and IS-700, “National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction”. At the EC-001 exam, each candidate must provide the dates shown on his or her completion certificates for IS-100 and IS-700.

EC-001 and its prerequisites, IS-100 and IS-700, are among the course training requirements to qualify for the Full Member designation in the ARRL East Bay Section ARES® program.

More information about the EC-001 course and exam is available.

See the EB Section Leadership page for contact information.


John Rabold KS6M
Section Emergency Coordinator, ARRL East Bay Section

Posted in Emergency Communications, Events, Pacificon, Public Service, Training | Comments Off on Emergency Communication Course Exam Offered

Emergency Communication Course Exam Offered

Posted by ks6m on 25th August 2015

Amateur Radio operators and others who are studying the ARRL’s Introduction to Emergency Communication Course (EC-001) can take the course’s examination in mid-October, earning the ARRL completion certificate.

ARRL Field Examiners have scheduled an EC-001 exam session to begin at 8:00 am on Sunday, October 18, 2015. It will be held at Pacificon, the ARRL Pacific Division Convention, at the San Ramon Marriott Hotel. Exam candidates must be registered as Pacificon attendees in order to access the exam site.

This exam-only session is listed on the ARRL Web site. The exam fee is $15. The exam consists of 35 multiple-choice questions, and a passing score is 80% or better.

EC-001 is designed to provide basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer. One need not be a licensed Amateur Radio operator to sit for the exam or earn the completion certificate. Candidates for this exam will have studied the course materials on line, in a local Field Class, or by studying the course transcript, The ARRL Introduction to Emergency Communication Course, 4th Edition. Be sure to obtain the updates for this text under the heading “Introduction to Emergency Communication Course Transcript” in the ARRL Store’s Product Notes.

Candidates must complete and obtain certificates for two free online FEMA EMI Independent Study courses before beginning their EC-001 course studies. Those courses are IS-100, “Introduction to Incident Command System”, and IS-700, “National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction”. At the EC-001 exam, each candidate must provide the dates shown on his or her completion certificates for IS-100 and IS-700.

EC-001 and its prerequisites, IS-100 and IS-700, are among the course training requirements to qualify for the Full Member designation in the ARRL East Bay Section ARES® program.

More information about the EC-001 course and exam is available.

See the Contact page for contact information.


John Rabold KS6M
Section Emergency Coordinator, ARRL East Bay Section

Posted in Emergency Communications, Pacificon, Public Service, Training | Comments Off on Emergency Communication Course Exam Offered

ECAC REPORT

Posted by af6aq on 14th July 2014

To: All SMs, SECs, STMs, Directors and Vice Directors

From:
Jim Cross WI3N
SM MDC
Chair of the former ARRL Emergency Communications Advisory Committee

Dave Colter WA1ZCN
ASEC, former SEC, NH ARES
Vice Chair of the former ARRL Emergency Communications Advisory Committee

ARRL members who participate in the ARES® and NTS programs have long lamented the lack of sustained or meaningful guidance and support from the Board of Directors and headquarters staff. Many feel the two programs are undervalued and under supported. Aside from expensive online emergency communication courses and a few books, little else of substance has been done in many years.

That may be what inspired the board’s Programs and Services Committee (P&SC) to task the ad hoc Emergency Communications Advisory Committee (ECAC) with looking for ways to help both programs advance and cooperate. ECAC consisted of seasoned public service communication experts from every ARRL Division, each recommended by their director.

Thousands of man hours were expended in research, discussion, meetings, writing, and rewriting. The result was an extensive twenty-four page document covering recommendations in a variety of areas.

The committee presented its report to the P&SC in mid November, 2013. Members of the P&SC almost unanimously lauded it as the best researched and written ARRL committee report they’d ever read.

Among other things, we proposed creating a permanent, unique support and advisory committee (working name: Joint Emergency Communications Committee (JECC)) to provide guidance and develop consistent and up to date resources to both programs. The JECC would be tasked with developing best practices standards, training materials, coordinating national exercises between ARES and NTS, voluntary certification programs, and more. What it would not have is command authority over anyone, or any part of the Field Organization.

We also provided language for motions that would allow the Board to act on it right away. Rather than immediately approve the proposal however, the Board opted to send it to a newly re-formed P&SC for further study. This is understandable in that we proposed a structure that differs significantly from the way things have been done over the last one hundred years.

Except for the Executive Committee, which is elected by the Board, all Board committees, advisory committees and any temporary ad hoc committees are appointed by the President. ECAC proposed a novel elected committee structure consisting of six highly qualified members, equally split between ARES and NTS, with staggered three year terms, and elected by all Field Organization appointees and elected leadership. A seventh member would be appointed by the Board or the president.

It bears noting that ARRL is ostensibly a member-driven organization. Through our elected Directors and Section Managers, the Board makes decisions that reflect the needs and desires of the members. HQ staff is hired to implement and support the board’s decisions and directives. As was made clear to ECAC several times in the course of its research, HQ staff is not supposed to act on its own or without specific guidance from the Board.

Since the position of HQ Emergency Manager was created, this dynamic seems to have changed. Staff now seems to be making unilateral decisions regarding the future and direction of ARES. NTS, meanwhile, is suffering from benign neglect. Staff is not permitted to make unilateral decisions about any aspect of the Field Organization’s activities, form, goals, or actions. Under the bylaws, that privilege is reserved to the Board of Directors.

The danger in unilateral action by staff is that they are working with a necessarily limited set of facts, experience, and opinions. No matter how qualified any one or two individuals are, it is unreasonable to expect they will be able to know or fully understand the wide variety of situations encountered by ARES groups around the country. The input and guidance of a more diverse group is needed. It is also unreasonable to expect a staff of two to produce the types of best practices and voluntary standards needed to effectively promote readiness and interoperability, meaningful and robust networks, training materials, and more that is so badly needed. In this regard, JECC would be a force multiplier for the entire organization.

Staff’s primary role should be providing support to the Field Organization, and handling high-level MOU negotiations as well as implementing programs and initiatives at the specific direction of the Board. It should also provide meaningful input and feedback related to its efforts to the decision makers in the Board and Field Organization. The HQ Emergency Manager is officially tasked with coordinating direct HQ support during major disasters and disseminating critical operational and situational awareness information to the Field Organization. Creation of the JECC would allow staff to focus on these and other critical support tasks.

In a discussion with Dave Sumner K1ZZ last fall, he suggested that after the Board had the opportunity to take action, releasing the reports to the membership – who would, after all, be most affected by any decision – would be reasonable.

In that light, and with the knowledge and consent of ECAC’s former members, we have made the ECAC report available for download by anyone who wishes to read and study it. Our hope is that you will develop an informed opinion and make it known to your Director and the P&SC’s members. We believe your comments will be helpful as they evaluate the ECAC report and formulate decisions.

Please let the P&SC and your Director and Vice Director know what you think. A link to the Directors and Vice directors is:

To download a PDF of the report, a PowerPoint® explanation of the report, contact information for the Programs and Services Committee, and links to the reports to the Board over the course of the ECAC’s tenure, please click this link:

Posted in Emergency Communications, Field Organization | Comments Off on ECAC REPORT

ARRL Field Day 2014 is at Hand, and Everyone is Invited!

Posted by ks6m on 19th June 2014

If you have not already made plans to get on the air for ARRL Field Day 2014, tick-tock, tick-tock. It’s just days away, but it’s not too late to participate. Field Day 2014 is Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29. Field Day is the year’s most popular operating event, and more than 35,000 radio amateurs will be setting up stations — sometimes multiple stations — in the field, at campsites, in public parks, and even on their decks or in their backyards to get in on the fun. Think of it as the first weekend of Amateur Radio’s summer. Last year, more than 2500 stations submitted entries.

Field Day is primarily a group activity, though, and if you’re not yet on the roster to operate from your club’s Field Day site, volunteer now! If you don’t belong to a club or don’t know if there’s a Field Day operation setting up in your area, check the Field Day Locator to find one. Clubs welcome new operators, especially if they are willing to take the graveyard (overnight) shift or other less-desirable time slots or if they bring some special talent or expertise to the picnic table — top-notch CW proficiency, satellite expertise, or antenna skills.

If you’d rather just stay at home, you can operate your own station as is, and work stations in the field, or you can set up to operate from an emergency power source, such as a generator, batteries, or solar panels, and work everyone else. Field Day got its start in the 1930s as an emergency communication exercise, and that tradition continues today. Some stations will be on the air from emergency operations centers.

The object is simple: To work as many stations as possible on any and all Amateur Radio bands — excluding 60, 30, 17, and 12 meters — and to learn to operate in less-than-optimal conditions. The camaraderie is special, and there’s a place for operators at all skill levels — from newbies and even prospective licensees to grizzled veterans.

Find your place at Field Day 2014, and enjoy Amateur Radio to the max!

Source: The ARRL Letter for June 19, 2014

Posted in Contesting, Emergency Communications, Field Day, Operating, Volunteer, Youth | Comments Off on ARRL Field Day 2014 is at Hand, and Everyone is Invited!