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Author Topic: Community Volunteers & Ham Radio  (Read 6515 times)

Posts: 491

« on: October 30, 2012, 03:52:48 PM »

We just finished supporting local government with communications at their request during Hurricane Sandy.  Our area's professional emergency management personnel were just excellent. I cannot speak for other areas, but these are some very motivated and community minded people we volunteer to assist. We are there to take some of the lower priority 'back channel' messaging burden and as busy as our people were, we were all glad to assist - even a tiny bit.  Every day events like walk-a-thons, town bike rides & etc. are also on the agenda and likely a great recruiting tool so that we can field more EMCOMM volunteers for LARGE problems like this hurricane.  It's great to do little things for the community.

For our area's volunteer communicators: no vests, no faux-uniforms & etc. I'm not even allowed to wear my sabre!  What's with that?   Cheesy  though for some areas, perhaps that may be the requirement.  As for NOT helping with communications or anything else for that matter, because someone / somewhere had dressed oddly or behaved badly; that is an excuse, not a reason. Not everyone needs to volunteer in communications - obviously.  However, when nobody volunteers anywhere in any way and complains about those who do a little extra around the community, then we can be certain that the reason is for this skin-flint attitude is not 'out there':  rather, it's inside of those doing the complaining.

I'd highly recommend getting to know your local community service people and help every now and then, when you can.

73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

Posts: 44

« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 10:08:25 AM »

The role of amateur radio is changing when it comes to emergency services. Local authorities are improving their communications thanks to the Department of Homeland Security. In one recent disaster locally dozens of 800 Mhz radios were available to responders and handed out. Even though one ham repeater was available the hams did not have a first responder role.

However, hams were important connecting some of the second responders such as shelters and feeding centers. Hams staffed the EOC 24/7  to monitor the public safety channels. These were experienced communicators who could tune in easily and accurately. In our state ARES/RACES hams are registered emergency workers.

Public service events are great practice not just for personal development (hat, coat, batteries, water), but for team building. Hams get used to working with each other and develop skill levels and strengths as well as familiarity with one another.

Posts: 46

« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2016, 02:41:03 PM »

Great post Ray.

Our club does pretty much every race, run, bike, rally, or whatever in the area. The organizers  say they appreciate us coming out, and we have fun. More importantly, as you noted, we're supporting our community and getting better at doing what we do.

We've been asked to help out in emergencies a few times as well. Years ago we'd provide long range comms, however now the guys in charge seem happier to have a group of people that are well organized, self led, with organic communications and logistics that are happy to help with routine things (watching crowds, the water rise, traffic levels, whatever).

The big thing for us is community. We like helping out our neighbours- and as long as they like us showing up, well probably keep it up.

Posts: 44

« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2016, 10:35:56 AM »

I am new (two years) to Amateur Radio and volunteer for events as part of my ARES/RACES group. One thing I have observed is the rising level of consciousness on the part of event organizers as to the capacity of amateur radio. These are the individuals who are likely to rise to respond to community emergencies in the absence of governmental services. In our city we have neighborhood hubs that prepare to step up to organize things at that level. In our planning we connect the neighborhoods' needs with the city, e.g, a shelter, water, medical services instead of some long distance capability. My neighborhood doesn't care about the state capitol, they care about city hall and the next block.

The fun runs and charity rides are much safer with our involvement and the more that citizens become of our service, the more we attract new members and the more we can be of use.
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