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Board Ramps Up Focus on EmComm Issues

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N5ARK, Jan 20, 2010.

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  1. N5ARK

    N5ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The ARRL Board of Directors held its 2010 Annual Meeting on January 15-16 in Windsor, Connecticut, under the chairmanship of President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, to consider and act on a number of recommendations from committees, as well as motions by Directors. With the election of ARRL First Vice President Kay Craigie, N3KN, as the League's 15th President, the 2010 Annual Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors was off to a fast-paced start. Craigie, who ran unopposed, takes over the top leadership position from Harrison, who in October announced that he would not be seeking re-election. Craigie officially took office as President at the adjournment of the Annual Meeting.

    Rounding out the slate of officers are First Vice President Rick Roderick, K5UR (moving up from Vice President); Vice President Bruce Frahm, K0BJ (moving up from Midwest Division Director); Vice President for International Affairs Jay Bellows, K0QB (moving up from Dakota Division Director); Executive Vice President and Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ; Treasurer James McCobb, K1LU; Chief Financial Officer Barry Shelley, N1VXY; Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, and Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. ARRL Technical Relations Manager Brennan Price, N4QX, was elected ARRL Chief Technology Officer; he replaces Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, who retired from the staff in 2008 but retained the officer title through the end of its two-year term.

    Since Bellows and Frahm moved into new positions their Vice Directors -- Greg Widin, K0GW and Cliff Ahrens, K0CA, respectively -- will move up to Director. One of Craigie's first items of business as League President will be to appoint new Vice Directors in both of those Divisions. She will also need to appoint a new Vice Director in the Northwestern Division, as that post became vacant on January 1 of this year.

    The Board concentrated much of its deliberations on Emergency Communications at this meeting:

    After the Board considered, but ultimately declined to adopt a motion to establish an Emergency Communications Advisory Committee last July, such a committee was approved at the 2010 Annual Meeting.
    The Board approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the American Red Cross (ARC). The ARC has agreed to permit ARES® volunteers to meet its requirement for a criminal background check by obtaining such a check, at their own expense, through a law enforcement entity rather than through the ARC process. ARRL members will be given information to permit them to make a fully informed decision with regard to volunteering with ARC.
    The Board instructed the ARRL staff to seek a change in Section 97.113(a)(3) of the FCC rules to permit amateurs, on behalf of an employer, to participate in emergency preparedness and disaster drills that include Amateur operations.
    The Board took a first step toward the ARRL Centennial in 2014 by adopting a recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee on the ARRL Foundation to create a nominating committee for the purpose of forming a centennial campaign committee. The nominating committee will identify candidates willing to organize a major fund raising drive to ensure that the ARRL will be strong financially as it enters its second century.

    In 2011, the ARRL will hold its National Convention and ARRL EXPO at Ham-Com in Plano, Texas on June 10-11. And for the first time since 1965, the ARRL will hold a National Convention in the League's Pacific Division: The 2012 National Convention and ARRL EXPO will be held at Pacificon in Santa Clara, California on October 19-21.

    The Board voted to support Senate Bill 2881, the FCC Commissioners' Technical Resource Enhancement Act, as well as legislation to increase the charitable tax deduction for mileage used in support of volunteer efforts.

    The Board voted to have the General Counsel and staff review the FCC Part 15 rules that exempt certain devices from technical standards to prevent radio interference and to work with the Executive Committee on a proposal to reduce the spectrum pollution from such devices.

    The Software Defined Radio Working Group was given a broader charge and renamed the Advanced Digital Technologies Working Group to reflect that charge. Its scope now includes (but is not limited to) cognitive radio, smart antennas and related technologies.

    Committee Elections and Appointments

    ARRL Executive Committee: As ARRL President, Craigie also serves as Chairman of the Executive Committee; its other voting members are elected by their fellow Directors. Elected for one-year terms were Tom Frenaye, K1KI, New England; George Isely, W9GIG, Central; Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, Rocky Mountain; Bob Vallio, W6RGG, Pacific, and David Woolweaver, K5RAV, West Gulf. Sumner and Roderick also serve on this committee without vote.

    Administration and Finance Committee: Chairman Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, Northwestern; Jim Weaver, K8JE, Great Lakes; Cliff Ahrens, K0CA, Midwest; Dennis Bodson, W4PWF, Roanoke; Dick Norton, N6AA, Southwestern, and Vice Director Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, Pacific. Treasurer Jim McCobb, K1LU, also sits on this committee.

    Programs and Services Committee: Chairman Bill Edgar, N3LLR, Atlantic; Mickey Cox, K5MC, Delta; Frank Fallon, N2FF, Hudson; Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, Southeastern; Greg Widin, K0GW, Dakota, and Vice Director Dwayne Allen, WY7FD, Rocky Mountain.

    Ethics and Elections Committee: Chairman Tom Frenaye, K1KI, New England; Cliff Ahrens, K0CA, Midwest, and Greg Widin, K0GW, Dakota. Members of this committee are Directors not up for re-election in 2010. Per the ARRL By-Laws, this committee applies guidelines for ethical conduct by ARRL officials, determines eligibility of candidates for Director and Vice Director, certifies a nominee's eligibility to fill a Vice Director vacancy and supervises the balloting for Director and Vice Director.

    The complete Minutes of the 2010 Annual Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors will be available soon on the ARRL Web site.

    The next meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors is scheduled for July 16-17, 2010.
  2. W5HTW

    W5HTW Ham Member QRZ Page

    They will never give up trying to turn amateur radio into government radio. They will never stop trying to take the 'hobby' out of ham radio and make it official DHS/FEMA radio. They are determined that "ham radio" should cease to exist, and should become a government agency.


  3. N5TGL

    N5TGL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Personally, I think it's a bit extreme to think that an organization is actively seeking it's own demise. I do think they're going a bit far, particularly with this:

    I certainly DO NOT like that one bit.
  4. AB0WR

    AB0WR Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is a crazy as it gets.

    Those operating the radios during a drill or exercise *should* be those that will be operating the radios during an actual emergency requiring the use of amateur radio because all other communications are down.

    This leads to one of two conclusions:

    1. Outside volunteers should be used during the drills because outside volunteers will be staffing the radio equipment while front line employees are DOING THEIR JOB IN THE FIELD.

    2. Front line employees should be used during the drill because they are specifically hired to to staff the radio equipment during emergencies.

    In case 1, no change to Part 97 is required.

    In case 2, these *hired* employees cannot operate the equipment during drills and it would require a change to PART 97 to allow them to do so.


    The ARRL is showing its true colors here.

    They want the ARS to become the Emergency Radio Service. I am surprised they didn't direct the new committee to file for a rename of the service!

    tim ab0wr
  5. KD0AZR

    KD0AZR Ham Member QRZ Page

    What's so bad about..?

    As a relatively new participant in amateur radio, I find the controversy here somewhat difficult to understand. Can someone lay out, with historical perspective, why disaster readiness and pre-organization is a bad thing in US Amateur radio? Is the argument specifically against ARRL national-level involvement in EMComms, or does it extend to ARES regional as well? Why is EMComm preparation seen as mutually exclusive with the everyday 'nonserious' aspects of the hobby?

  6. KC5JIM

    KC5JIM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think that disaster readiness and pre-organization are the issue here. You and I, as amateur radio operators should be ready for a disaster, and the only way to do that is through pre-planning and pre-organization.

    The issue is when a commercial entity wants to pre-plan and pre-organize to use amateur radio for disaster operations.

    It is fine for a hospital to use amateur radio for disaster communications, AS LONG AS they use non-compensated, non-employee amateur radio operators to provide that service. We have an extensive hospital amateur radio disaster communications system operated through our RACES system where I live, but ALL of the communications are provided by volunteer amateur radio operators, not hospital employees.

    I have several decades in the emergency services field, and I can assure you that during an actual disaster, the hospital/fire department/police/private business are going to need EVERY LAST ONE of their employees to perform their primary job duties, not talk on radios.

    When commercial entities try to setup amateur radio and then want their employees to operate them, they are attempting to make amateur radio a normal part of their business operations, and that is not what amateur radio is about. If they want a secondary communications system that they operate with their employees as a normal part of business operations, then they can procure the appropriate commercial equipment and licenses to do so. The reason they are turning to amateur radio is PURELY PECUNIARY - it is much cheaper to buy amateur radios than commercial radios.

    Keep the AMATEUR in amateur radio.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  7. N5TGL

    N5TGL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Preparation is not a bad thing.

    Trying to make us a gov't service and their proposed modification to part 97 is. Ham radio should stay 100% non-commercial, but they continue to try to do that. Using ham radio as a primary backup for commercial radio is also a bad thing. The reason they are doing it is because it's cheaper to have hams do the work for you and buy the equipment than for the commercial interest be properly prepared on its own.
  8. KI4ZUI

    KI4ZUI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Red Cross Agreement

    If the reported agreement with the Red Cross is accurate - amateur radio operators volunteering their services during an emergency have to pay a fee to have their backgrounds checked - then that kills my willingness to lend my time, my equipment to support the Red Cross during an emergency. There are other agencies out there who are glad to accept our volunteer assistance without charging retirees like myself a fee. Old 'para.
  9. N5YOZ

    N5YOZ Guest

    So, what can be done to counter the ARRL?
  10. N5ARK

    N5ARK Ham Member QRZ Page


    The only way you can counter the ARRL is in numbers. It is sad they are the only ones that represent Ham Radio.

    This issue of paid hams in my opinion is just about money. Look at all the money the ARRL has made.
  11. KC5JIM

    KC5JIM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The agreement is correct - if you want to VOLUNTEER for the Red Cross, you must PAY for a background check. And the agreement on the website allows not only a criminal background check, but also a credit check and a "mode of living" check. The Red Cross SWEARS that they are only conducting a criminal background check, but they REFUSE to have their background check provider remove the blanket authorization to run ANY kind of check that they see fit.
  12. W3DBB

    W3DBB Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's all about the money.

    Hopefully this latest ARRL move is to placate their advertisers, and the FCC will choose not to initiate a rulemaking proceeding. The N5FDL-WB6NOA petition similarly has not been assigned an RM-number. Let's hope it stays that way.

    Through good times and bad, ARRL is all we have. Amateur radio today is a dead market. Competing national associations were tried in the 50's and 60's and couldn't sustain themselves, and those were much better days for the amateur radio industry.

    If the FCC is wise, and I think they are, they will let this one die with nary a whimper. This will free the BOD to contemplate whatever it is they are trying to accomplish.
  13. W9VER

    W9VER Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why such hate and discontent?:eek:
  14. W8QJ

    W8QJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Seems odd to me too. "Emergency communications" are mentioned as a fundamental purpose of amateur radio in Part 97.1(a), basically a raison d'être of the amateur service from the get go.

    I have a xerox of an old "Monthly Service Bulletin" from the National Amateur Wireless Association from Oct. 1916. It describes this activity of interest:

    Despite the somewhat grandiose nature of this stunt, performed October 27, 1916 at 10pm, I would imagine that there was little snarking at the time about the participants, at a time when the American Radio Relay League had just formed. Today, the ARRL is still showcasing emergency communications. Imagine that.

    Anyway, has the connection between emergency communications and "rights to operate wireless stations" disappeared in recent years?
  15. KB9MWR

    KB9MWR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Re: It's all about the money.

    And the ARRL soaks hams acting as volunteers $85.00 for their precious Emcomm class!

    You cannot be a volunteer emergency manger without being an paid ARRL member.

    Yes it's all about money to the ARRL board of ambulance chasers.

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