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 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
                        c. Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS); VHF/HF Station

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

ARCT Type 2 (2 each for American Red Cross & 2 each for Salvation Army)

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. HF desired (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).

May 2018

DEC Bulletin

We may have the communications equipment and know how to use it, but would we know what to do if an emergency happened? If it’s been a few years since we have trained with ARES® the answer is no. The ARES® training has had some significant changes in the past few years, and there will be more to come in the next few months. A person just doesn’t walk into a disaster situation sit down and start talking on a radio.

Before we can sit down in front of our equipment we must know what is going on, how are things being handled etc. That is why ARES® training is so valuable and necessary. It takes a commitment to the amateur radio service in today’s ARES®. Sometimes we may wonder why we are doing this. “Nothing ever happens in El Paso”. If the skills are not maintained, and something does happen one could find themselves in an embarrassing position.

The role ARES® plays in a disaster may not be a major one, but we can at least go to bed after it’s all over and feel good about being able to have helped someone. We helped them get in contact with a loved one somewhere else and told them that everything will be fine. Or, we sent that message and got those supplies that were so desperately needed for that aid station or hospital. That makes all those boring training hours’ worth while.

For the ARES® training to be meaningful we must train with the agencies we are going to serve. The agencies must write their exercises and include amateur radio. I can write a scenario, but without being able to interact with the agency personnel the exercise is meaningless. We are just acting out a pipe dream that is going to have a disastrous ending. We are not building a relationship with the agency. For this relationship to work we should have some of their training as well so that we can understand what they do in certain situations. We must learn their terminology. We are unpaid employees of that agency. Our goals are the same as theirs – how can we make the agency succeed during this disaster? It’s not about amateur radio.

So many times, when I ask some of the older hams to come back to ARES® they reply with “call me when the real emergency happens, and I’ll be there”. The problem with that attitude is that without practice the skills erode. This attitude can also be a major problem because ARES® has had some dramatic changes over the past few years. Ten-year-old skills are nearly useless for these types of communications. Especially now that the ARRL is in the process of updating the amateur radio service. Credentialing is a major part of becoming an ARES® member. More training is going to be mandated in the future. Without the proper credentials you are non-deployable and placed in the unaffiliated spontaneous volunteer category. 

I would like to ask that those who are willing to make the commitment to take a fresh look at ARES® and ask how can I help? Merely having an amateur radio license today is not enough if you intend on stepping up to the plate in an emergency – unless you are content with helping run a copy machine or empting the wastebaskets.

Our ranks are thin in ARES®. Success is in the numbers. We have the equipment and communications skills. We just need to update that equipment and those skills to the same level as the rest of the group. It won’t take long, but you must take the first step. It’s a big step because you must be seriously committed to the amateur radio service.

Questions and comments are welcome and encouraged regarding the content of this article. Send an email to the address shown below.

NOTE: 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

April 2018

DEC Bulletin

When amateur radio operators are asked to define the amateur radio service most of the time they will not respond by telling what the amateur radio service is today or what it can be. Instead they respond with what the amateur radio service was back in the “good ole days.” Through experimentation and development breakthroughs by amateur radio operators the amateur radio service has been on the cutting edge of technology for years. But, for some reason we are putting so much emphasis on outdated technology and as a result technology is passing us by.

Don’t misunderstand me. That outdated technology has an important place in the history of the amateur radio service. But technology has come a long way since those “good ole days.” “When all else fails” so will our outdated technology. It will fail because we are ignoring the fact that to offer a viable service to our communities we must adapt to the present technology. It will fail because the newer technologies are becoming the major systems of communication today. We must keep progressing with time otherwise amateur radio will die from lack of interest.

Let me say “Thank You” to those who brought the amateur radio service to the level of technology that it is today. But it’s time to hand the baton over and let the younger generation take the lead and start experimenting with and developing the new amateur radio service. The old technologies will die out so that the new technologies can take the lead. We cannot stop progress. If we don’t update our services to the communities we will be left eating a cloud of dust, and there will be no services to offer to the communities.

Questions and comments are welcome and encouraged. Send an email to the address shown below.

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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