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Author Topic: Should I be in ECom?  (Read 22485 times)
K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2011, 05:50:41 AM »

Most hams don't know how to build a radio from scratch.
Actually, most of the emcomms hams that I've ever met
(perhaps 200-300) don't know how to build a dipole.
Knowing how to push that PTT on their HT to hit the
repeater doesn't exactly make them communications experts.

The disgusting stance is that the OP would suggest that
most public service professionals wouldn't know an RF
connector from a battery connector.

As if it was ever needed.

Sgt Craig Lemke.
Sheriff's 911 PSAP commander

Mr. Lemke, you now put up that you're a public service official, Sgt. Craig Lemke, yet you have an attitude like you show?  Show that attitude around and let your boss see you puffing out your chest, and see how long you remain in that position!

The FACT remains that most public service people just would not know how to do what ham ops do when they're setting up or taking down their rigs.  Some rigs have connectors that are used for different purposes depending on the rigs themselves.  I've actually seen a situation where a public service official, trying to be helpful, plugged a morse key into a power feed on the back of a HF rig--just because the connectors matched up--and blew the foil tracing off a circuit board!  Luckily, that was the only damage to the rig, and I was able to repair it in the field.

Just because you happen to be both a ham and a public service official, don't come across as indignant about a remark made that is truthful for the majority of the people mentioned!
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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2011, 09:10:02 AM »

Somebody's jealousWink
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KC0SHZ
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Posts: 372




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« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2011, 03:28:57 PM »

Have to say that there needs to be three things done to improve EMCOMM.

1.  First!  The EMA people need to once and for all (or at least for a defined period of time) decide whether they want us to help or not.  No joke, just decide and let us know before we start building up gear and go bags, before we take FEMA courses and ARRL courses, before we take Skywarn training every year.  Before we even get into radio, either its going to be part of it, or its not.  If you want us, fine, if not, also fine.

2.  If the answer is yes, then define what role you want us to do and let us know so we can practice and prepare for it.  Saves everyone a lot of time and trouble about licensing and getting set up for skill A, B, and C, only to find out that no one wants you to do A, and you're only going to do B if TSHTF and no one else can do it.  Because you only have so much training time, and you waste it on A and B, you aren't any good at C, then the EMA pros bit*h about how the Hams are useless.  The hams then bit*h that the EMA pros don't know how to use us.

3.  Train at professional levels and frequently enough to maintain skills, and rigorously enough to get good at something.  Refuse tasks that are "powerball ticket-unlikely" events, like an entire city's hospitals needing hams to communicate with each other.  That way, your volunteers don't go out for pointless training and quit in frustration, and you can keep people busy enough to keep them interested.
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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2011, 06:51:54 AM »

In short; you need to specifically define the mission and skills required before you start recruiting volunteers!  Wink
I already said that!  Grin
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W4WNT
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2011, 06:00:19 AM »

Very well written piece.  I've heard it called EmComm, but that may be a regional thing.  In the paragraph below:

"Some may ask why so much emphasis on ICS. The answer is simple. ALL entities receiving federal dollars (virtually every police, fire, etc.) must have implemented the Incident Command System by 2005 to continue receiving federal dollars. This also includes all of their volunteers (us)."

I'd suggest taking out the "by 2005" reference. In 2011, that makes the page look outdated.

You might also consider that emergency communications in places like Joplin, MO, after the tornado would likely be done by folks who come in from somewhere else and set up mobile/portable operations as there is likely not much left of any communications that were originally there. 

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WY3X
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Posts: 768




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« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2011, 03:01:28 PM »

Stick a fork in me, I'm SO done with "emcomm"!!! It seems like these "positions" attract all the Barney Fife wanna-bes, and don't you DARE tell them they have an idea that isn't going to be combined with the local action plan! You'll hurt their feelings, and, them being volunteers, you'll lose 'em. If something I can't say on here meets the rotating fan blade, you're going to need every able bodied person you can get your hands on, REGARDLESS of what skills they bring to the table! EVEN THE BARNEY FIFES!

Also, you need to clarify that although volunteers can "act in a professional manner", they can *NEVER* be a "professional emergency communicator" because the word "professional" means that they ARE PAID for what they are doing. Remember what the FCC rules say about "pecuniary interest"? Being a professional ALSO doesn't mean someone knows what they are doing. I've had plenty of officers above me full of book knowledge but without practical experience who could not deal with a live situation. You learn what you can, and implement the good while striving to steer clear of the bad.

Classes are good for beginners, but for someone who made public service their life's work, it's repetitive and boring, and you should find something else for them to do. Being retired from public safety, I would NEVER consider sitting through another ICS class! Ain't gonna do it, not for all the tea in China! YAWN-SNORE! Call me when/if you need me, and I'll get you out of the jam you're in. Yes, I have enough confidence in my skills that I can say that. Leave me alone when it comes time for classes! And always remember: Those who can't do, TEACH!

There are two skills you need to "make it" as a newb in the amateur emcomm world.

1. The ability to kiss butt and enjoy doing it.
2. The ability to perform a task when asked, and do it correctly the first time.

Everything else is purely academic.

73, -WY3X
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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2011, 05:59:07 AM »

The most important rule is show up! Otherwise, the other two rules that WY3X just listed are "academic."  Wink
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 06:08:04 PM by KI4SDY » Logged
N0SYA
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Posts: 369




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« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2011, 08:59:06 AM »

Another question seldom raised is whom are you going to serve in ecomms? The citizens or some political entity? They are sometimes at odds as far as agendas in a crisis go.
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If you have a clumsy child, you make them wear a helmet. If you have death prone children, you keep a few clones of them in your lab.
KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2011, 06:07:15 PM »

That is why you have to first define the missionWink
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KC0SHZ
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Posts: 372




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« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2011, 10:48:36 AM »

The most important rule is show up! Otherwise, the other two rules that WY3X just listed are "academic."  Wink

No.  The most important rule is to have some idea what you are going to do once you show up.  Showing up and being ill-prepared or unprepared means you are a burden to others.

As above, I think a lot of us are "so done with emcomm".   I have been nearly run off roads or arrested for doing a job that the EMA sent me to do, but didn't bother to tell area patrol officers about one time too many.   I have watched cops and other EMA "professionals" sit around the red cross/salvation army canteen and eat fried chicken while we were out working and not allowed to bring our vehicles with us (so no water or back up batteries for us) one time too many.

I think that I am going to entertain myself with my radio and leave the CW uberalles, the emcomms, the QRPers to their own pursuits.
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LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2011, 11:05:55 AM »

Classes are good for beginners, but for someone who made public service their life's work, it's repetitive and boring, and you should find something else for them to do.

Well, there's the issue of changing organizations and procedures. If I showed up to a disaster with the knowledge which was considered correct 10 years ago, I'd be showing up miles away from the correct staging area. I'd also be treating patients less effectively (especially arterial bleeding cases). This is why classes and drills have to be updated and refreshed - and why those who haven't trained in a while have to be de-rated or deleted from the call-up roster.

If you're sick of it, you've probably earned the right to take a break from that stuff, but you should then be prepared to learn from those who have more current training if you do get called out.

At least that's how it is over here - your situation might be different of course.
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K7RBW
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Posts: 401




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« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2011, 11:28:18 AM »

The most important rule is show up! Otherwise, the other two rules that WY3X just listed are "academic."  Wink

No.  The most important rule is to have some idea what you are going to do once you show up.  Showing up and being ill-prepared or unprepared means you are a burden to others.

It seems like that to effectively use a voluteer work force requires some effort on both sides (i.e. paid professional and non-paid volunteer). To be effective, you'd have to train and practice side-by-side (frequently).That's a big commitment for all involved.

I'm curious how often the orgs trained and practiced together in the many of the stories where the  volunteers complain about not being used or used effectivey and where the professionals complained about working with incompetent or unmotivated volunteers.
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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2011, 01:57:49 PM »

"No, the most important rule is to have some idea what you are going to do once you show up."

You need to go back and and read all of my posts so that you will understand the simple process that I gave. First you have to define the mission and skills required, which is a role of the organizer, not the volunteer.  Wink

The volunteer's most important rule is to show upGrin

This confusion of organizational principles and responsibilities is why volunteer service is so frustrating for both the organizer and the volunteer. Maybe they should give out cards to both listing these simple directions.  Roll Eyes 
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KC0SHZ
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Posts: 372




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« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2011, 03:02:44 PM »

You need to go back and and read all of my posts so that you will understand the simple process that I gave. First you have to define the mission and skills required, which is a role of the organizer, not the volunteer. 

The volunteer's most important rule is to show up

This confusion of organizational principles and responsibilities is why volunteer service is so frustrating for both the organizer and the volunteer. Maybe they should give out cards to both listing these simple directions. 

I get your point.  I just disagree.



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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2011, 04:15:24 PM »

That's Ok. So did Bill Clinton! Some people just can't admit when they are wrong. Wink
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 08:31:55 AM by KI4SDY » Logged
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