ARRL East Bay Section

Archive for the 'Field Organization' Category

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

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 http://www.arrleastbaysection.org/ares. 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

ARES® Being Restructured in Contra Costa County

Posted by af6aq on 8th November 2011

The East Bay Section ARES® program in Contra Costa County is being restructured. ARES is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service®, an emergency-communications program of the ARRL. Applications for ARES positions in Contra Costa are invited.

In recent years, ARES in Contra Costa has not conformed to the ARRL’s expectations for the program or to ARES elsewhere in the East Bay Section. Some emergency-communications related leadership/management appointments were made that were not ARES appointments but were thought by some to be so. Some appointments or assigned responsibilities were not consistent with the ARES structure and principles as set forth by the ARRL.

Section Emergency Coordinator John Rabold KS6M and I decided that attempting to reassign current appointees to different positions would most likely make many appointees unhappy and result in a poor match of the available skills and enthusiasms to the available positions. Instead, all ARRL ARES appointments in Contra Costa are being vacated, resulting in a clean slate, and the current appointees and all other qualified amateurs in Contra Costa are being invited to apply for those positions.

Available ARES leadership/management positions in Contra Costa include one District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) to coordinate the program across the county and one Emergency Coordinator (EC) to manage ARES in each community. Small communities will be grouped together or with adjacent large communities so that no EC jurisdiction is too small to be viable and so that every licensed amateur in the county resides in a single EC jurisdiction.

The SM and SEC also invite applications for Official Emergency Station (OES) appointments. OES appointees will have superior operating skills and significant operating experience. They may also have capable base stations at their disposal, with the expectation that in ARES activation they may be assigned to operate from those stations.

Each of these appointments requires full ARRL membership and an active Technician-class Amateur Radio license or above. Appointees will be expected not only to meet the East Bay Section’s requirements for Full Member status but also to complete additional ARES-management course training as well within a limited time after appointment. The deadline for application is 17 December 2011.

Qualified amateurs in Contra Costa who are interested in being a part of the ARES management team should contact Section Emergency Coordinator John Rabold KS6M at

Additional information can be found on the ARRL East Bay Section ARES Web pages:
http://www.eastbaysectionarrl.org/ares

Posted in Emergency Communications, Field Organization, Press Release, Section News | Comments Off

Local Statement of Cooperation Between the ARRL East Bay Section and the Bay Area Chapter of the American Red Cross

Posted by af6aq on 18th October 2011

I am pleased to announce the formal signing of a local Statement of Cooperation between the ARRL East Bay Section and the Bay Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. This is a significant step as we rebuild the ARES® program in the Section. We now have a served agency that recognizes ARES locally and that is recognized by ARES.

The local Statement of Cooperation supplements the national Memorandum of Understanding between the American Red Cross and the ARRL that has been in effect since March 2010 and anticipates increased local familiarity and cooperation between the two entities. This document is available for review (http://www NULL.eastbaysectionarrl NULL.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/ARCBA-ARRL-East-Bay-ARES-Statement-of-Cooperation NULL.scan-final NULL.pdf).

It is now more important than ever that we be able to exhibit that we are professional-quality, well-equipped, and well-trained Amateur Radio operators. To this end, we will be implementing online local ARES registration so that we will have an up to date listing of the Section’s members and leaders. We will also be implementing training and education programs sponsored by the Section to ensure a common, minimum level of training for members and leaders alike. Look for additional changes and progress as we organize and build the ARES program in the Section.

 

Jim Latham, AF6AQ – ARRL Life Member
Section Manager – East Bay
Emergency Communication Advisory Committee Representative – Pacific Division
ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio™

Posted in Emergency Communications, Field Organization, Press Release, Section News | Comments Off

Joplin needs met – thanks!

Posted by af6aq on 5th June 2011

From: National Director SATERN
Sent: Sun 6/5/2011 4:32 PM
Subject: ARRL/SATERN

 

Gentleman,

I have been told that all amateur operator slots have been filled up until June 10, 6:00 PM EDT. We have everyone we need thanks to the surge of support from ARRL/ARES operators.

When the ARRL brings its full weight to bear to assist us, it is not only dynamic but inspirational.

Thanks for helping The Salvation Army in its quest to assist those in Joplin who suffered through this ordeal.

Your help is significant.

Best regards to all and God bless you.

Sincerely,

Patrick E. McPherson
Major (R)
National Director
SATERN

Posted in Emergency Communications, Field Organization, Kudos, Press Release, Public Service | Comments Off