Emergency Coordination

                                                      Emergency Coordinator's Page                                                                     
(Previous articles can be found on the sub-pages at the bottom of this page)
Direct all questions about this page to kb5hpt@arrl.net

++++++ARES® Membership++++++

Qualifications for membership in El Paso County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (EPCARES) are as follows:

  1. Have the following credentials:

a.       ICS-100 Introduction to the Incident Command System

b.      ICS-200 ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents

c.       IS-700 NIMS, an Introduction

d.      IS-800 National Response Framework (NRF), an Introduction

e.       Intro to Emergency Communication (EC-001). New time and location to be determined. See EC-001 Announcement below from ARRL.

"ARRL has been informed that the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC), the provider of the online platform though which ARRL offers its EC-001 course, is being dissolved, effective July 1, 2018.  That decision was announced today by Charter Oak State College, the parent organization of CTDLC. CTDLC officials cited the fiscal challenges faced by the Connecticut State College and University System and the State of Connecticut as a whole for the decision to close the CTDLC platform. 

ARRL is working on steps to address the dislocation that this decision will cause our members and others who planned to take this course. While we look at moving our course content to a new delivery mechanism, new registrations for EC-001 will be suspended effective immediately. Those who signed up for the EC-001 session starting on May 30 will receive a refund. 

ARRL had already been in the process of developing new content for the EC-001 course, and now we will intensify the process of selecting a new platform on which to post this material.  

More information on the new course content and new host site for the EC-001 course will be available in the near future as soon as a decision is made on an alternative delivery mechanism."

Candidates should submit an ARES® Registration Form (fsd98) along with copies of the above certificates of completion. Send them to kb5hpt@arrl.net.

By submitting your application for membership in ARES® you have indicated the following:

  1. You have registered your qualifications and communications equipment for use in public service during a communications emergency.
  2. You can work in a controlled environment.
  3. You have a desire to make a contribution to your community.

++++++EPCARES Mission Statement Is:++++++


Our Core Values Are: 

 Confidence             Commitment         Excellence

Respect                   Integrity

++++++EPCARES Data Operators++++++

ARES® Digital Operators: Positions are available for ARES® Digital Operators within the El Paso County ARES® (EPCARES). Required stations are as follows:
                        a. Winlink 2000; VHF Packet Station capable of Winlink Express and Paclink
                        b. Winlink 2000; HF Station capable of WINMOR, ARDOP, and VERA
                        c. Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS); VHF/HF Station

++++++ Amateur Radio Communications Teams (ARCT) ++++++

ARCT Type 1 

Full field station and 4 mobile/portable units. For single or multiple agency support. Is not dependant on any outside power source or infrastructure. Team consists of 12 licensed and registered AROs with ten (minimum) vehicles. Team Leader (General class or higher). Liaison to the incident Communications Coordinator (COMC). Assistant Team Leader (General class or higher) Capable of VHF/UHF digital/voice, HF digital communications for tactical and voice communications for logistics, health/welfare, administrative, and other radio traffic.

ARCT Type 2

4 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operators with two vehicles. Team leader (General class or higher). Capable of VHF/UHF & HF digital/voice communications for tactical, logistics, health/welfare, administrative, and other radio traffic.

ARCT Type 3 (Multiple)

4 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operators with two vehicles. Team Leader (Technician class or higher). Capable of VHF/UHF digital/voice communications for tactical, logistics, health/welfare, administrative, and other radio traffic.

ARCT Type 4 (Multiple)

For assignment to agency or supplemental/relieve an existing multi-agency ARCT. 2 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operators with two vehicles. Technician class or higher. Capable of VHF FM (minimum) equipped w/digital capabilities. HF desired w/digital capabilities (General class or higher required).

ARCT Type 5 (Multiple)

For assignment to agency or supplemental/relieve an existing multi-agency ARCT. 1 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operator with a vehicle. Rarely ordered singly. 1 VHF FM (Minimum) with vehicle (Technician class or higher).

++++++SKYWARN® Coordinator Wanted++++++

Person/s interested in the SKYWARN® Coordinator position must have the following qualifications:

  • Active in the  SKYWARN® spotting program.
  • Two years active SKYWARN® field spotting.
  • Must travel to the National Weather Service in Santa Teresa, NM when activated and for bimonthly SKYWARN® nets.
  • Must be General class or above.
  • Must be D-Star/D-RATS qualified.

Interested person/s must contact Lew, KB5HPT at kb5hpt@arrl.net 

November 2018

DEC Bulletin

Answer True or False.  “Nothing ever happens in El Paso.”

From a disaster or emergency viewpoint, the answer is, thank goodness, generally True. But... that means the EmComm volunteers have never developed a realistic experience base.  Our group dynamic, or teamwork capacity, has never emerged.  Nobody really knows their own ­or their fellow operators’ strengths or weaknesses--or reliability.

Under the specific conditions that might allow EMCOMM operators to help make a situation better, if we then must spend time organizing, learning the rules, and “getting to know each other” before we can deploy, time and resources are not efficiently used.  We could have done that on our own time! Now is not the time for On-the-Job Training. That is not what we are noted for. We are viewed as a well-oiled machine that operates as a team.

As we have said before, it is not the technology that is going to really make a difference.  It is going to be the people--doing the expected things, in the expected manner, at the expected time--that are going to make a positive impact.

Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteers are certainly going to be needed, appreciated, and utilized.  But the benefits to the community will be so much greater--and better received--if an organized, trained, and like-minded core group is already in place.

No serious undertaking relies on a loose grouping of “interested” part-timers who may “be there if you need me...in a real situation.”  An airline doesn’t.  The court system doesn’t.  Hospitals don’t.  We cannot effectively afford to, either.

It’s all about attitude.  Professors call it “habits of mind.”  Are we really interested in being able to fit into plans and expectations to get things done? Your attitude is more important than you operating skills.

  1. Will you register your qualifications and communications equipment for use in public service before a disaster strike?
  2. Can you work in a controlled environment?
  3. Do you have a desire to contribute to your community?

Or shall we wait around until the last minute--after ‘Nothing’ finally does happen? ARES training doesn’t come from a book. You must be able to answer “yes” to all three of the questions above.

We are in the business of building a viable ARES® organization that is properly trained and adequately staffed with the end goal of functioning professionally in any emergency that may come our way. To become part of the team, contact any ARES® member or:

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
ARRL Emergency Coordinator—El Paso County

October 2018

DEC Bulletin

When I give my Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) Orientation I’m asked, “Why the FEMA Courses?”

For many years, Amateur Radio has longed to be taken seriously by governmental authorities as a professional-quality resource in disaster response. Although there are areas of the country where achieving and maintaining emergency management agencies' respect is still a struggle, Amateur Radio's service during 9/11 and the major hurricane disasters has brought us a new level of respect and new opportunities at the national level.

Being taken seriously as a resource comes with a price that must be paid by individual volunteers not in dollars but in precious personal time. When the federal government instituted the National Incident Management System (NIMS), it imposed a set of requirements on state and local emergency management agencies and their personnel. Affected personnel include not only paid employees of emergency management and related agencies, but also volunteers such as those in volunteer fire companies, ARES®, and RACES. If the emergency management agencies are to continue receiving federal funds, personnel must complete several FEMA training courses having to do with the Incident Command System (ICS) and NIMS. Individuals who do not complete the training will not be allowed to participate, even as volunteers.

These FEMA courses are free of charge, available on line or sometimes in person at emergency management offices, and not difficult to master. The courses are useful in familiarizing volunteers with the principles of the Incident Command System and showing where communications fits into the ICS structure. These formal requirements are here to stay and more may follow. At the national level, Amateur Radio has earned the respect we always wanted, bringing us closer to the emergency management establishment.

In addition to the FEMA courses individuals are required to complete the ARRL Introduction to Emergency Communication Course (EC-001). The EC-001 is a revision of the former Emergency Communications Basic/Level 1 course. This on-line course is designed to provide basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer. This course costs $50 for ARRL members and $75 for non-members/guests. Prerequisites for this course are IS-100 (Introduction to the Incident Command System); and IS-700 (National Incident Management System). The IS-200.b (ICS for Single Recourses and Initial Action Incidents) teaches you how to operate efficiently during an incident or event within the Incident Command System (ICS). Finally, the IS-800 introduces participants to the concepts and principles of the National Response Framework. IS-200 and IS-800 have no prerequisites. Served agencies may require additional credentials as well. Those will be addressed later.

Having the proper credentials are more important than your operating skills. Without these basic credential’s volunteers are classified as “non-deployable”. They will not be used in a capacity where they will be serving an agency no matter how badly the agency might need them. When individuals complete the courses make sure that a copy of the training certificate is given to the local EC. Also, make sure a copy of the certificates is a part of the paper work in the “GO BAG”. Credentials will be screened at the Staging Area prior to deployment. The local EC is not the person that is requiring volunteers to have these credentials but is required to inforce the requirements established by FEMA and the served agencies.

Yahoo Group:  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ardop_users/infoQuestions and comments are welcome and encouraged regarding the content of this article. Send an email to the address shown below.

The terms ARES® and Amateur Radio Emergency Service® is both registered trademarks of the American Radio Relay League, Inc. and are used by permission.

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
DEC, District 6 – Far West Texas
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net

 Previous articles can be found on the subpages links towards the bottom of this page.

The terms Amateur Radio Emergency Service and ARES are both registered trademarks of the 
American Radio Relay League Inc. and are used by permission.  

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT  
DEC District 6 - Far West Texas
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net  
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