I have read all these posts and my mind is not changed. Simply because you passed a 35 question test does not make you an emergency responder.
That's a strawman argument, because none of those you argue against are seriously suggesting that only the license is enough to help out in an emergency.
On the contrary emcomm groups are being called "elitist" in another thread here, because they put additional requirements on their members - like background checks, Incident Command System training, or regular participation in drills and exercises.
It's also an over-generalization. The license test is not sufficient in itself, but it is part of what you need. I could just as well say "passing a police academy exam doesn't make you an emergency responder", since you'd have to be employed by a law enforcement agency, be sworn in as an officer, follow their policies, etc. That exam is still one of the required parts though.
Ham radio is a HOBBY, much like model railroading.
No, it's more like a hobby like mountain climbing or boating, where the skills learned in the hobby can be very useful when put into organized Search And Rescue, or other emergency response. When a particularly difficult rescue can't be done by helicopter hoist here, they call in volunteers who have mountain climbing as a HOBBY to effect rescue. When an emergency happens at sea, both government, commercial, NGOs and private HOBBY boaters are called to help the persons in distress, using their skills and equipment, under direction of a government agency.
Years ago we had a CB React group approach the Dept and ask if we needed help at the 4th of July parade. (...) These guys were a riot. They called us on channel 9 for any little thing they saw, we spent more time chasing after their 'this one looks suspicious' calls then what we needed to be doing.
I remember another group that were there to close a street for an event. They did much worse than the group you talk about though: They closed down a state highway on the wrong day
. They did so while illegally carrying loaded guns, openly. They had also failed to register with the local police. They failed to wear identifying uniforms (they just wore "tactical" black clothing). Then they proceeded to assault and kidnap an innocent bystander a whole block away from the area that would have been affected by the road closure, ending up in multi-million dollar lawsuit.
It's the worst case of out-of-control whackerism I've ever seen. The kicker is that these clowns were actually off-duty police officers from a different jurisdiction, working for a supposedly professional security company. The event happened in Nashville in 2009.
After the parade we slapped them on back, told them what a great job they did, and thanked them with a donut and pepsi party afterward. After handing out our dept patches ( they all asked for one) and promising ride-alongs that would never happen we sent them on their way. The sad part was they had better light bars then our cars did
So when you guys are being 'thanked' for your help just wonder how loud they are laughing at you when you leave
So when emcomm groups are invited to come back time and time again, they should also suppose that everything is fine? And that when you Bart were thanked for your service, the rest of the department were also thinking "good riddance" when you left them?
The sad part was they had better light bars then our cars did
The majority of your post history on EHam is about your envy of the people with yellow flashing lights on their cars, so I guess this cuts to the core of your issues. There are a select few police officers - we have them in Norway too - who resent NGO volunteers, the military, the fire department, civil defense, and everyone who isn't their own department because they "get nicer equipment than we do" or "aren't part of the union", to the point that they dither in calling in volunteers or requesting assistance from the military in a serious situation. There have been a few situations where this sort of attitude has led to a slower response, and more deaths and injuries than necessary; especially after July 22nd, there's absolutely no place for those kinds of attitudes here. It's sad that your department had to suffer under those same attitudes while you were there.
Also, come on, yellow lights only signifies a work vehicle - not any special authority. Many places farmers' tractors, street sweepers and dump trucks have those on them - and they carry radios too. Why the envy?
My opinion, be you ARES, SKYWARN, or whatever decal you want to stick on your car you are ALL whackers in my book.
So in essence, the word whacker is totally meaningless, since it applies to everyone, be they police officers, casual rubberneckers, meteorologists, farmers, nurses, pensioners or fire fighters. Perhaps you didn't realize that.
And no, a person who should see a funnel cloud should report it, by radio or cell.
Will people really know the difference between a funnel cloud and a rain column in the distance without training? The point with Skywarn is that the NWS trains the spotters every year to give accurate reports, and to update them on advances in relevant meteorology.
This fella flat out tells us his reason for getting his tech ticket, to volunteer, talk on a radio and carry a gun.
He wants to legally exercise his 2nd Amendment rights while he volunteers; what if he gets shot by a gang of looters while he's trying to serve his fellow man? This is a whole other topic, and it's not a straight-forward one, and it seems debated to death in that other thread.