When Is The Last Time Your ARES Group Got Called Out?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W0EIB, Nov 28, 2019.

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  1. W0EIB

    W0EIB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Below is an opinion piece I wrote for several ARES Groups here in the State of Minnesota.

    Question: Your ARES Group - When is the last time you were called out to assist in your community or county? Do you still wait around for the Big-One to happen someday?

    What if I were to tell you that with your FCC Amateur Radio License, you could be very involved and get so many requests for participation, that you'd be turning some down because you just have way too many already scheduled for your ARES Group? Think I'm kidding, think again :)

    Be Cross Trained in Multiple Areas
    During an emergency or disaster; Local, County, and Federal Government Agencies will not recognize many certifications that you have, such as; ARES, RACES, or AERO Training. They will however recognize a State Department of Health - First Responder/Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) Certification in most instances. Why you ask? It's because that is the one designation these agencies come in frequent contact with out in the field.

    After 9-11, security has gotten extremely tight, procedures extremely strict, and liability is always in everyone's mind at an emergency or disaster scene. Unless you have a certification of a First Responder, it's doubtful that you will be asked to assist even though you have a good heart and a desire to help.

    So, how can we fix it so that we are recognized as being a real resource to; Police, Fire, EMS, Local and Federal Government, Military, and Community Organizations? Well, we get trained in more areas than just radio communications or ARES.

    Steps To Making Your ARES Group Known As Valuable Resource In Times Of Need
    1st - Get First Aid, CPR/AED Training.
    2nd - Get First Responder/Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) Training.
    3rd - Get Basic Search & Rescue Training. Which includes; Map Reading and GPS Training.
    4th - Have a CERT Team in your community? Seek them out for additional FREE Training.
    5th - Have a Medical Reserve Corps in your county? Seek them out for additional FREE Training.
    6th - Be Skywarn Trained.

    By doing some or all of the above items, makes your ARES Group very valuable to agencies and organizations.

    What About The Cost Of Training?
    Most of the training is FREE if you inquire with your local city or county. Check with your local Fire Department, Civil Defense Director, CERT Team Leader, etc. Also; Many elected community leaders jump at the chance to have more Trained First Responders in their communities and will often pick up the costs for your training.

    Comments, Opinions and Suggestions are always welcomed.

    Dan McNulty - W0EIB
    KN6SD and W9PFS like this.
  2. N3PM

    N3PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I made an attempt to join a "volunteer organization" in this area a few years before I retired. I obtained A PA EMT license, asked about joining , and was turned down. I made no mention of anything other than my job at the time. Think if I threw in ham radio I would have been accepted?
    Mike N3PM
  3. W5TTW

    W5TTW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If amateur radio was important, communities wouldn't ban antennas.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
    K5ABB, KN4ULD, W0AEW and 5 others like this.
  4. KE0TNL

    KE0TNL Ham Member QRZ Page

    That depends heavily on the area which you reside. My club does most of the Skywarn work. My club is also part of the S.O.A.R. plan. My club is a big part of my county's emergency management plan.
    N0TZU likes this.
  5. NL7W

    NL7W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  6. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Called Out or Called On?
    WA9SVD, AI7PM, NL7W and 1 other person like this.
  7. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK - I'll bite. How often does your ARES group get called out and for what?
    NL7W and N1VAU like this.
  8. K0IDT

    K0IDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    ARES, 500+ net check ins in one month. Problem, it's a nightly net and the same 15-20 people check in "for the numbers". Oh, 2 messages passed in that one month period. ARES may work, and have some value where you are, but in
    large parts of the country amateur radio emergency communicators are not needed or wanted. Served agencies are increasingly using Zello, FireChat, or similar, to do what hams used to do.
    KA4DPO and W4POT like this.
  9. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    We have Sky Warn here in Oklahoma and probable the best Sky Warn networks in the world. If you want to be a Meteorologist, OU in Norman is where you want to go. Anyway the strange thing is they do use 2m and 70cm a little to send units out, but since 4G LTE came into service 8 years ago with its bandwidth and saturation levels, most of it is done via Cell Phone.
  10. KE8HSF

    KE8HSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here in Genesee County Michigan we have the Michigan Specialized Communications Group that operates Genesee County Amateur Radio Public Service Corps that is ARES and RACES combined, with the ARES EC and RACE Officer both being represented by different individuals. Our RACES Officer is also the Skywarn Director for the county (appointed by the County Emergency Manager, who while not a HAM is on the leadership committee for the Amateur Radio Public Service Corps). Other then Skywarn activation's and Siren Testing last activation was when we provided communications for the Crim Festival of Races, a 10-mile, a 5-mile and a 5k race through Flint, Michigan, along with a couple of other races/events that we provided radio communications for .

    IIRC the State of Michigan and the Michigan State Police actually have it down in their emergency plan that Amateur Radio is the backup system state wide for any emergency that might knock out communications systems, though you have communities that think they don't need Amateur Radio, even though most of the Police and Fire systems have gone to or are going to a shared P25 trunked network though out the state. Downside is for the system is if there's a major incident in say Traverse City, Michigan tying up the system, Police/Fire/etc.... in say Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Lansing, etc... may be unable use the P25 network.
    KB9LXP likes this.

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