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Force of Two: In Depth stories from 2 Puerto Rico volunteers on HamRadioNow

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KN4AQ, Oct 28, 2017.

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  1. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA Ham Member QRZ Page

    One thing to remember is that the view from the field is different than the one on-high. We are told that volunteer ham functions were "replaced" by SHARES personnel salaried civil service personnel, a FEMA decision and not so bad, in my opinion. This decision was apparently reached some five weeks into the response. The ham deployment was for three weeks and they could have been replaced with new volunteers or with paid staff.
  2. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ugh. That spin ain't gonna help lower the noise floor. HISSSSSS :(
  3. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Brings to mind the Willie and Joe cartoon of 1945 with the exhausted GI, rifle slung muzzle down, marching POWs in the rain and the caption, "Fresh spirited American troops, flushed with victory, are bringing in thousands of hungry, ragged, battle weary prisoners." (News Item).
  4. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's not that the Hams were replaced by SHARES. That is to be expected. It's the apparent manner and attitude of how it was performed. An abrupt cut-off rather then a coordinated hand-off. And the "customers" for both org's, hospitals and med staff, were adversely affected.
    K5WW and AI7PM like this.
  5. N8PVW

    N8PVW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  6. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    A report by the ARRL disagrees with your assessment in regard to the current situation in PR . See link,

    "Ten SHARES (Shared Resources) HF Radio Program operators will replace the Amateur Radio volunteers who had worked on behalf of the Red Cross. These SHARES operators are federal employees who happen to be radio amateurs and volunteered for the duty in Puerto Rico. Hotzfeld said they will be stationed in four different zones, with two operators at headquarters in the San Juan Convention Center. “The hospitals did not want us to leave,” Hotzfeld said. “They were begging us to stay.” She noted, though, that the hospitals also have access to satellite telephones."
  7. N8PVW

    N8PVW Ham Member QRZ Page

    And I disagree with the ARRL I have in my possession every notice that has come out from Shares HQ since the system was activated. As I said a they did send a few ops. But they were not sent to replace the hams. SHARES ops have other missions which are way different than what the hams were performing. And many SHARES ops have nothing to do with ham radio and do not in fact have a ham license. They have a specific government callsign.
  8. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's a new release from non-profit ARRL HQ plus there are first hand eyewitness accounts from actual ham volunteers in PR that say SHARES replaced them, or they were told that by someone.

    So your position is that an official notice sent down from SHARES HQ has more cred? Not sure if I would buy that under the present status of public trust in gov't administration. And that's not meant as a political opinion either.

    Its also intriguing that while there are so many hero-stories and love-fest back-patting between the ARC and ARRL, there hasn't been one mention regarding actual ham interaction with FEMA / SHARES.

    Other then a brief notice before the storm in ARRL News about FEMA stations (not SHARES) being set up to interoperate on 60m with hams (KF2EMA etc) but no report about actual cross-service traffic handling.

    Sure feels like some petty bureaucratic interagency / NGO rivalries going on ...
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  9. N8PVW

    N8PVW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying here. FEMA has an MOU with the ARRL. You are absolutely correct that there has been a lot of bickering amongst everyone involved. There is not a lot of interaction between SHARES and amateur radio because SHARES is first and foremost part of the Department Of Homeland Security. We do not use amateur radio type formats to send traffic. We can and do encrypt traffic when needed which hams can not do. And we can handle sensitive traffic which hams can not. Many SHARES ops are hams. I am one of them. But even though we can and do work together there are many things we do not freely SHARE. As I stated most SHARES ops are volunteers and NOT government employees. MARS operators actually run most of our nets. I don't belong to MARS but I participate as a federal employee. My amateur license never comes into play except during cross band exercises or special circumstances. And I am absolutely not privy to everything going on. I am not at that level. but I am monitoring all of the traffic I can intercept including that which may or may not be encrypted. I respect the job that the ARRL does for the amateur community. But believe me when I say they have far less minute by minute knowledge of what is going on than I do and I am a small player at the bottom tier.I only know what is sent to me from HQ and what I intercept or from the activities I am part of. And that is only a small bit of what is going on.
    KG7LEA and W0PV like this.
  10. WU8Y

    WU8Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    What would you have them say, "We're terrible, everything the bashers say is right, we're going to commit seppuku now!"?

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