Noverber 2018

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 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