ARRL East Bay Section

Archive for the 'Field Organization' Category

North Bay Wildfire Disaster

Posted by ks6m on 10th October 2017

Our hearts go out to the victims of the wildfire disaster in the North Bay. Shelters have been set up, and there have been news reports of cellular phone outages. Many of us Amateur Radio licensees find ourselves wanting to help. However, do not self-deploy to the disaster area. Members of the public, including hams, should respond to the area only as recognized members of agencies who are active in the response or at the explicit request of those agencies.

As we know from the news about Puerto Rico, the ARRL has a longstanding MOU with the American Red Cross and often serves that agency. The ARRL Field Organization staff in the East Bay Section, including East Bay Section ARES, has been in touch with Red Cross staff to remind them of the MOU and of Amateurs’ willingness to serve. The East Bay Section is also coordinating with the San Francisco Section, which includes most of the disaster area. At this point, the Red Cross has not made a request for support from these sections. However, disaster response continues, and response is followed by recovery. We hams can assist in both stages, but only upon request.

Please see the ARRL East Bay Section ARES Web pages at

To contact the Section Manager or Section Emergency Coordinator, see our EB Section Leadership page at

James R Latham AF6AQ
Section Manager, ARRL East Bay Section
John Rabold KS6M
Section Emergency Coordinator, ARRL East Bay Section

Posted in Emergency Communications, Field Organization, Public Service, Section News, Volunteer | Comments Off on North Bay Wildfire Disaster

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

Reminder: Public Information Officer Certification (PIO) Class Part 2

Posted by af6aq on 31st October 2014

WHO:      This course material is useful for any ham who speaks about amateur radio to any non-ham.  However, the curriculum specifically provides tools for any type of PIO within our hobby.  Thus, ARES and Club PIOs can benefit from learning and reviewing how the ARRL PIO represents amateur radio to the public.  For the individual who wants to become a PIO, certification is available on completion of the final exam.  You may present the certification to your Section Manager if you want to apply for an appointment to become an ARRL PIO.

WHAT:     ARRL PIO Certification Class

WHEN:    Saturday, Nov. 15th and Sunday, Nov. 16th from 8AM to 5PM

WHERE:  431 Stardust Place, Alameda, CA 94501 (on the old Naval Air Station)


POINT OF CONTACT:   For more information contact Suellene Petersen:

Posted in Education and Training, Events, Field Organization, Public Service, Section News | Comments Off on Reminder: Public Information Officer Certification (PIO) Class Part 2


Posted by af6aq on 14th July 2014

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

Jim Cross WI3N
Chair of the former ARRL Emergency Communications Advisory Committee

Dave Colter WA1ZCN
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

Online registration in ARRL East Bay Section ARES®

Posted by ks6m on 26th April 2012

Licensed amateurs in the ARRL East Bay Section can now register in ARES® on line.

ARES is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service®, a nationwide program of the ARRL, the American Radio Relay League. ARES consists of licensed Amateur Radio operators who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for volunteer communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.

Every licensed radio amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization or program, is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Because ARES is an Amateur Radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable but not a requirement.

Online registration in ARRL East Bay Section ARES is available at As Section Emergency Coordinator, I encourage all Amateur Radio licensees in the Section who wish to serve in time of disaster to register on line, whether or not they have previously completed a paper ARES registration form. Registrants will initially hold Associate Member status; procedures for upgrading to Full Member status will be announced soon.

In an emergency or disaster, ARRL East Bay Section ARES will provide communications-related support in the public service to agencies with which it has written agreements and which request its assistance. ARES services are provided at no charge to served agencies. ARES has many served agencies at the national level, and those relationships extend to this section. Existing national served agencies include the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the National Weather Service. ARRL East Bay Section ARES is open to supporting other agencies that operate within its geographical area in the public service, including both government and non-government entities, under written agreements that are approved by the ARRL and signed by the agency and the Section Manager of the ARRL East Bay Section.

If you have questions or comments, please contact me or the Section Manager as shown on the Contact page.

John Rabold KS6M
Section Emergency Coordinator, ARRL East Bay Section

Posted in Emergency Communications, Field Organization, Public Service, Section News, Volunteer | Comments Off on Online registration in ARRL East Bay Section ARES®