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. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    And that's a shame, you'd certainly bring more than radio skills to the fight! But I also understand the need for standardization and checklists - "Are all your *insert skilled position here* trained to the *insert class/course here* level?" I know some wildland firefighters that have seen more and done more that I'll ever do - without a single IQS qualification. But they will never be on a State or Federal incident without their S130/S190/redcard. Which you can get online now (S130/S190) - except for the field-day and pack test.
    N5PAR likes this.
  2. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It depends on what is meant by "called out". Chances of a government based agency, particularly public safety agencies, "calling out" ARES (or RACES or ACS) are diminishing. With the billions of FEMA dollars allocated to improving, target hardening, and making redundant public safety radio systems in the last 17 years fewer and fewer need to rely on hams under any circumstances. Those agencies that did not take advantage of no matching fund grants may still need ham radio support but they are in the minority.

    Non government agencies (NGOs). They for the most part were not eligible for the big federal $$ so they still need ham radio assistance. Salvation Army, hospitals, etc. Problem is they are not as glamorous as the cop shops and fire departments so they often lack enough ham radio volunteers. The pity is that often when they call for help no one comes.
    N0TZU, KG7LEA, NL7W and 1 other person like this.
  3. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is the whole point. Hams like playing with radios a lot, thus our hobby. The wider world uses radios to DO something, it is not an end in itself to talk on the radio. For one example, I will be using a radio to help run a charity event next week. Being able to use a radio is nice, but since I will be directing aircraft to various parking locations knowing something about airplanes is also nice.
  4. W5TTW

    W5TTW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Other than the local fun-run, parade or airshow, the answer seems to be "never." Perhaps these groups should be known as auxiliary communications instead of emergency communications. I'd wager that if the term "emergency" was replaced, 75% of the members would quit.
    K0IDT, NL7W, KX4O and 2 others like this.
  5. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Add to that spontaneous groups with little or no planning who need to communicate with each other or agencies. That's what we plan to do in our city for The Big One, but we need more volunteers.
  6. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    In defense of the FEMA courses they provide a "language" used by emergency managers and other volunteers and they don't take long. To be sure, these are volunteer groups and vulnerable to personalities rather than the needs of a mission. Many hams think they are a radio with a volunteer attached. I prefer to think of myself as a volunteer who has a radio (and a yellow vest).
    N0TZU likes this.
  7. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm a bit puzzled. Do ARES groups actually have to be "called up?":confused: Or is that actually only true of specific RACES groups? :confused: (And specifically only when [RACES] is requested {or demanded} by civil authorities?):rolleyes:
  8. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The way it’s supposed to work (and does around here) is that ARES doesn’t self-deploy. They have a memorandum of understanding with their served agencies which specifies who activates them, how, and when, and what roles and responsibility’s they have, etc. The last thing the authorities (or Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.) need is a bunch of volunteers showing up unexpectedly and just getting in the way.
    N1ZZZ likes this.
  9. N1ZZZ

    N1ZZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    My county doesn't have a lot of funding for a variety of reasons for extensive staff at the EMA. ARES is a good way for EMA to augment their paid staff and get boots on the ground when needed. ARES also does SKYWARN and EMA is helpful in facilitating that training. EMA has amateur radio equipment and gives the group EOC space to operate, meet, and train. Outside of the EOC, the group has a weekly voice traffic net with 20 or so check ins and a digital training and traffic net weekly. Generally 5-10 messages a week are being passed. There is a weekly meeting at the EOC for equipment maintenance and drills. There are 2 major SET's a year. I don't have full statistics, but we get a call out from EMA a few times a year. Sometimes it's as simple as manning EOC phones, sometimes it's field deployment at an active scene. The ARES leadership has solicited the training required by EMA, and has facilitated and encouraged the membership in obtaining that training. In general it is an excellent working relationship between EMA and ARES.
    N0TZU likes this.
  10. N1FM

    N1FM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    W5TTW and K0IDT like this.

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