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Amateur Radio Emergency Communications

from Rick McCallum, KC7MF on October 30, 2017
View comments about this article!

Amateur Radio Emergency Communications

When all else fails, there is Amateur Radio. We all stand ready to provide communications in times of emergency. We can actually do quite well at this and I do not mean to make light of it. Well maybe a little. That said.

As a new ham you may want to get your feet wet in what we call ECOM, or ECOMM, or EMCOMM...whatever. Let’s go with ECOM for brevity sake. As a newly licensed Technician-Class ‘Amateur Radio Station Operator/Licensee’ (ARSOL) uh, I mean Licensed Amateur Radio Station Operator(LARSO) you will start with the basics. You will learn emergency communications from the ground up.

The Basics:

First you will need equipment. You will need a name tag with your call sign on it. It should also have your name on it because there will not be one living soul with whom you will work who will be able to remember your name for over 30 seconds and you will get really tired of being called Mike Foxtrot. Then you will need a hat with your call sign on it. The best hat is a green hard hat indicating that you belong to a CERT team. (More about CERT in part II.) It will afford you protection when you are working “in ECOM” as we say. I recommend putting your name on the back of your hard hat. This way people who hiding behind…that is to say following your lead, will not forget your name. It will be easy for them to communicate with you at the disaster site, shouting official ECOM stuff like, “Rick. Slow down. It is really scary here. Do you smell smoke?”…And other such essential emergency communications. You will need camouflage fatigues and combat boots. You will need a Sam Brown belt to carry your bundle of keys, your aluminum 36,000 lumen flashlight, spare batteries, your canteen, your flare gun, your knife, your first-aid kit, your multi-tool and your portable field Morse code key (snicker).

You will crown your new outfit with an orange reflective vest with ECOM on the back of it. (You may be asking yourself, “won’t the orange vest counteract the effect of the camouflage fatigues? The answer is yes but just drop it. OK? There is no call to be pedantic.) Now let’s move on. There are Ham radio Badges. They look just like Police badges. Do not get one. You will look like an id…well let’s just say the police do not like any badges with references to “ham” on them. OK? A little sensitivity…

Of course you will need an “HT”. This is short for “Handy Talkie”. Your HT will cost anywhere from, at the high end, about $600.00 down to, at the low end, about $6.00 used. Perhaps one of your new ECOM friends (or should I say platoon mates) will help you. “Oh? Bill is looking for an HT? He can have this worthless piece of…oh there you are Bill. Let me give you this rig to get you started”. Wouldn’t that be a lucky stroke? He/or she may just be your new Elmer. Please note. There is no difference between a $500 and a free HT. They all work equally, ah, one might almost say, well.

Thus outfitted you are ready for ECOM training. This is a series of evening classes taught by a guy named Frank (known affectionately in the ECOM community as Methuselah.) You will be able to spot him right away at the radio club meetings as he is the one with the green hard hat, orange vest, HT with remote mic and ham radio badge. (NOTE: Before you ask, yes we have all noticed that he looks like an 80 year old school crossing guard and it is not necessary to mention it.) These classes will be exciting. You will learn ECOM procedures, first aid, outdoor survival, equipment preparation, which vegetation is edible, jeep riding, and why you should keep all of your radio equipment in a Faraday Cage right next to your three year supply of food and 846 guns, and always vote libertarian and...but then I digress… (Do not worry for the moment what a Faraday Cage is. You will not really need to know until you go for your extra class ticket unless, God Forfend, events lead you to really need one but in that case the subject is sort of academic.)

Trained to the hilt you will participate in events designed to hone your emergency communications skills. Most of these are bike races. Your leadership will have pled... that is to say, kindly volunteered your group’s services to monitor the race route in case something awful might happen. There you will be; dressed in your entire combat-first-responder ensemble, HT at the ready, stuffed full of surplus trail mix and ready for any emergency. And then it happens. Something awful! You get on your HT and shout, “Operation Chainguard Flash Eagle Leader Alpha Charlie One whatever this is Flash Thunder Falcon three four, Kilo Echo Seven Uniform Xray Echo, we have a code 6. A bicycle just crashed into three people who were not paying attention because they were on their cell phones and wandered into the race route. Get on your cell phone and call the paramedics.” And there you have it. ECOM at its most basic. Most gritty. Most…

Now if that does not whet your appetite there is more! You could become a weather observer!

Ham Radio Weather Observers

This is a highly technical program to…well…tell people it is raining or windy. I know. Even a no-code Extra can tell when it is raining and/or windy but I guess some people can’t. On edit: I was just informed that I am off-base here. It is not to tell people it is raining and/or windy. It is to tell people who are not where it is raining and/or windy that it is raining and/or windy somewhere else. That makes more sense, even to me. Oh no really?

Okay. The person who told me about the rain just told me that these “observers” go out and try to find tornadoes and then tell people that there are tornadoes somewhere else. You could do that! How cool. You could don all of your ECOM equipment, jump into your emergency SUV, and head toward really nasty looking weather, where you could jump out and look for funnel clouds. Here is where you must make a strategic decision. “Do I carry all of my emergency equipment or travel “light”. The decision will be based upon your skill set. If you are not, shall we say, fleet of foot, the extra weight of the equipment might come in very handy. Your training will be important here. At times like these it is sometimes easy to forget proper radio procedure. But you will stay calm. Seeing a funnel cloud roughly the size of Cleveland headed your way you will take cover behind that… oh what is there... fence post... key your HT and say..."Holy, I mean Hotel Sierra there is Bravo Foxtrot funnel cloud, about the size of Cleveland that just ate my camouflage SUV and is headed right for me. Where is it? I’ll check my map. I have it in my back pocket... I’ll let you know in a minute. Something has uh gotten on my map."

Doesn’t that sound like fun? And it’s important too. It allows the folks at headquarters to tell others not to go near you (or where they believe you were) and give thanks that they are not there with you. Don’t worry. I have never actually heard of someone getting his clothes blown off and you can always get another CERT hat and map. My suspicion is that when this article is published there will be a great many of them available. All the better for an aspiring storm watcher.

This is enough for the first installment. Next time we will cover CERT and ARES. There is much to cover. But at this point it is important to add that what ham radio can and does do in emergencies is a very real thing. I have answered a real Mayday call myself and it is quite the experience. Sometimes though it is instructive to take an alternate look at some of our “foibles.” That is what we just did.





Copyright 2017 Rick McCallum

Member Comments:
Add A Comment
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KJ4DGE on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I really enjoyed this very technical article and learned a lot about EComm. I have to correct you though in some places. First the Storm spotters do not only report Tornadoes, they report larger more important storms, of course that is if they manage to get out of the way in time. You are right though about the hats and badges being available all the time after.

Second you are not quite on the mark about Ecomm being just for bike races. We do parades, block parties, and other emergency venues. Not sure you realize how dangerous a crowd of block party people can become when YOU have been tasked with running to 7-11 when the beer has run out. Yes you have some leeway being in your official gear but YOU being the one in charge of the beer run are at most jeopardy being stopped by police for swerving to avoid that squirrel in the road, then there was the breathalyzer test..and....

I agree with the comment about badges being a bad idea.

Someone may see those and assume you are a REAL first responder and then you would have to call for backup on your HT that has not seen the light of a charger in your Go-box in a year. Wait you will carry a cell phone!

Of course if all the cell towers are down from the hurricane and the HT batteries are dead then you may have to run to the Fire station 8 miles away to get help as the SUV is no good due to all the downed trees....Hmmm

Well it will all work out as we CO-ECOMM with FEMA and they did such a wonderful job in the past with those trailers we later bought and turned into our homes or made great shacks on wheels or ECOMM trailers.

Other than leaving out a few talking (or laughing points), excellent article. This is the kind of techie stuuf I like to see here. Keep up the good work when you have the time from your Emergency services :)

SEVEN THREE

KILO-JULIET-FOUR-DELTA-GOLF-ECHO
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by NN4RH on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Was this meant to be funny? Sorry. Not seeing it.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by NA4IT on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I think the author needs to be in a tornado or hurricane. Might change his thinking. NOT saying I want it to happen to him, heaven forbid.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KG4RUL on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Methinks the author is a bit of an ARSOL himself.
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by AK4YH on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
What's going to be funny is the replies of offended ECOM people who do wear an orange vest...

Gil.
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by WA8HHH on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Many years ago when I was just a tadpole in High School and not yet a licensed ham, there was a guy who lived around the corner from me who had this strange antenna thing on his garage roof. Being a curious teenager, I stopped there one day and discovered he had some kind of shortwave radio attached to that antenna. I spent some time with him that evening and he was happy to show me how everything worked.

It was exciting. There was some guy on there – on a “Base”, which I thought might be military - screaming directions to a whole bunch of others who were “mow-bile” and were searching for someone or something. Who or what was missing was never really made clear but, by golly, they were gonna find it/him/her/them. The mow-biles kept reporting in and base kept sending them hither and you on mercy missions and coffee runs. This went on for better than an hour but activity grew less and less. It finally ended when one of the mow-biles called in to base and said, “I’m in the middle of a cornfield, just what the hell am I lookin fer anyway?” Base failed to respond. End of evening’s entertainment.

I learned that the source of the entertainment was a thing called Class D Citizens Band Radio. I always wondered what happened to those guys. After Burt Reynolds did Smokey and the Bandits their ilk seemed to sink into oblivion altogether. There was a brief resurgence in there just before that movie was released when Wayne Greene and others sang the merits of Two Meter FM repeaters but that has faded away into what old time FCC Chairman Newton Minow could easily have characterized as , “…a vast wasteland…” as he did Television at one time. I thought they had all finally “destinated” at last.

Now thanks to you, Rick, I know where they’ve all gone.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by N1NGV on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Or those with more blue lights on their vehicles than local law enforcement or the real local FD!!
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by DL8OV on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
The USA are supposed to be top dog at everything. You have Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard and even the Coastguard. These people in uniform have access to everything from aircraft carriers to space rockets. With this in mind why the hell do you need radio amateurs to help you out in an emergency?

Think of it this way, you have a medical emergency, or a fire, who are you going to call, 911 or ARES? Yes, I KNOW that the 911 service can go out of action in a disaster, but that just demonstrates a failure to plan for the event. As for the emergency services having comms problems, it's the 21st Century, deal with the issue instead of depending on some 220 pound dude with an HT and a callsign.

Peter DL8OV

 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by AA4PB on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
If I'm stranded in my house with flood waters rising I don't need aircraft carriers and space rockets. What I need is someone with a boat to come get me out, even if it's some 220 pound dude with an HT and a call sign.

The best thing is that ham radio operators are there, dispersed around the country in neighborhoods and they don't cost the taxpayers anything. My personal experience was after a hurricane I had no power, no water, no sewage. I was able to get on 2M and locate an area that had power and a motel that had room available. I moved the wife, kids, and dog to the motel for a few days until the power was restored in my neighborhood.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by K9MHZ on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
MF, that article is good comedy, OM. Best humor always has elements of truth embedded, and this one is 100%, 5-9.

The offended above didn’t see the “lighthearted” part in the description. Maybe the cell or WiFi reception wasn’t good from their lightbar adorned Crown Vics.

 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by N0CEL on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
As a ham, a First Responder, trained storm spotter/meteorologist, and a veteran E-911 op, I really needed this kind of brevity...it's Monday folks, and as long as no one was injured or killed in this article, than all is good. Except where someone's actually taken this seriously. As always - Be Safe! Carl de NØCEL
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by W3TTT on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"...These people in uniform have access to everything from aircraft carriers to space rockets. With this in mind why the hell do you need radio amateurs to help you out in an emergency? ..."

Health and welfare messages. Sure, first responders all have top of the line comm gear. But they are not going to get a message back to your momma that you are OK. And she sure as shootin' would like to hear from you.

Got it?

 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KD7YVV on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Being a member of my ARES group, I think we've been
activated once in the last 15 years. Sometimes,
you just have to sit back and laugh, even if it's at
yourself. Hams do a lot of volunteer work, not just
in the communications arena. In the Seattle area,
hams help out with the Special Needs Christmas Cruise.
They help with the Seattle Marathon, and due to the
mountainous area around here, the Search & Rescue
hams occasionally have to find someone who has gotten
lost. To the article writer, thanks for the smile.

While I'm thankful for every day my local ARES isn't
activated, it's nice to know I've learned some things
in case of "The Big One" they keep talking about.
Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis....hehehehehehe
I just remember the Amateur's Code.

http://www.arrl.org/amateur-code

Yes, ham radio is a part of my life by choice.
If I can help in an emergency or disaster so be it.
This is Kilo Delta 7 Yummy Veggie Vittles saying
10-4 good....er 73 OM ;)



 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by W4HM on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
What a hilarious article it made me laugh really hard.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by W1RC on October 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Loved. It. Those whotook it too seriously missed out on the humour. Lighten up!
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KJ4DGE on October 31, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Comedy and a sense of humor is what is sorely lacking in 2017. Sometimes I just turn on the news and hear about tweets, mainly I leave the TV off and listen to the radio, then I hear the 7200 crowd and keep turning the knob till I can have a less mentally stimulating conversation. Reading books are great to. Remember those things?

Yes all the rockets and the carriers will not help you in a flood in Texas but damn that UH-1 from the guard looked sweet when my dog was picked up and the dull green trucks brought 500 cases of water to the town rec hall. Ain't that America?
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by W3WN on October 31, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Great article?

Would you object if I used it in a future issue of my club newsletter? We have a few people who are in need of this level of humor.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by N8PVW on October 31, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Yep these guys in uniform have all this technology. And yet on Air Force One and other sensitive places the government keeps a hoard of old outdated tube type gear. Why-- well just in case. You know CME, EMP etc. Yes I know the areas are heavily shielded. But must be the folks in uniform know something you don't. Like us folks who have been in uniform never put all our eggs in one basket. And while we have the latest in technology it's still a troop with a rifle when the SHTF. Also you do realize that there bare huge swaths of our country where when you call 911 you get a volunteer. Not a paid professional. That cop, paramedic, emt or fire fighter is actually a full time factory worker, farmer or local business person or some kids mom. that's why ham radio.
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KB8UUZ on October 31, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Great! Nice to see some humor here. Can't wait for part 2 !
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by NW0LF on October 31, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Rick, you missed 1 thing. They don't have 1 HT, they have 4 or 5 on their belt, bandoleer, suspenders, etc. I knew people like that when I was in EMCOMM. THankfully, I was never called for a real disaster but was net control for lots of events including the Ft Lauderdale WinterFest boat parade. I have never owned a day glow vest, my hard hat is yellow for helping with antenna projects and I don't own camo. My car then had yellow strobes-only 4-in the headlights and back up lights for when I was a rover with event vehicle signs to alert the police who I was.

That said, I thought that this was funny and irreverent. Looking forward to part 2. As for the perpetually offended, go get on the air instead of reading stuff on eHam. Oh, wait, you'll be offended there, too.
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by K4FMH on November 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Rick

I looked up the procedure the use of humor or satire in EmCom. The ARRL has not approved that for official ARES use. FEMA is too far behind and won’t admit to knowing anything about RACES. So, I’m gonna ship a Winlink packet off to query some yelllw vest experts. I’ll have to sit down until I get a reply for I have completely Lima Mike Alpha Oscar!
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KA0USE on November 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
merciful heavens, i may end up on a ventilator and get zapped by the paddles! waaaay too funny!
maybe i should check youtube...
thanks for shattering my dull morning! i'm waiting for the cert and ares 'articles'.
rodney
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by K6CRC on November 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I went though a local CERT program. I thought is was good and the retired fireman who put it on knew his stuff.
One thing they always do here is have a pitch for ARES group to get attendees to have a Tech license. Someone comes in and gives a short intro to Amateur Radio.
Helpful hint to local ARES group. Be sure the person doing the pitch represents the hobby well.
After looking at and hearing the ham at our CERT program, I can guarantee that no one considered getting a license.
We are our own worst enemies some times.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by N9AOP on November 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Exactly, when talking to a group about becoming a ham, finding a guy or gal that is a great salesperson has a good payoff. Same way, when you talk to your Mayor about putting up a repeater on top of a public building, you better get the person best at public speaking.
Art
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KA0USE on November 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
i saw this on youtube. it's only a few seconds, but funny:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ugdd0kpIkhQ
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KB2DHG on November 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
This was dumb!
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by W0WUG on November 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Sarcasm noted, but strong elements of truth regarding law enforcement pompous-arrogant types thinking they are saving us from ourselves.
Yup, anything "amateur radio", or HAM radio, as we know the meaning of the term HAM has been lost to history.
{I always say the ham goes in an oven, not in a radio. :) }
Public service types don't recognize our capabilities.
73/ "Wild Ugly Gorilla"
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by W0WUG on November 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
How about this:?
"EVCOM"
"Emergency Volunteer Communications'?
Sounds more official than "amateur" or "HAM", eh??
Thank me very much. ;)
73/ wild ugly gorilla
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by W8QZ on November 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds a lot like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7kirdtdI1c
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KA0USE on November 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
seen it before, love it,stored it on computer.careful, folks! family first.
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by AB1DQ on November 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Great article - you absolutely nailed it - Thanks for the good natured goofing on the usually serious and always very important orange-vest crowd!
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by N8AUC on November 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I've been involved with SkyWarn for over 30 years, and ARES for almost 10 years. And I found this kind of funny.

I just hope everyone who reads this takes it for the light hearted humor it was intended to be. Because all that stuff is exactly what you don't do.

73 de N8AUC
Eric
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by K3FHP on November 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Rick, maybe that is what ARES looks like in Arizona, but not likely in places where REAL disasters happen(not too many hurricanes in Arizona I suppose). None of the ARES members resemble your descriptions but your area may vary. The only good advice was NOT to get one of those Ham shield badges, or if you do, don't wear it outside your house. Your first episode was enough. Maybe try some Field Day or contest humor.

For those who live, work or are deployed to disaster prone areas, EmComm is not a laughing matter.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by K4JJL on November 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Whenever an ARES/RACES guy shows me his badge/ID, I show them my Bass Pro Shops Rewards Card.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by N1NGV on November 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"Whenever an ARES/RACES guy shows me his badge/ID, I show them my Bass Pro Shops Rewards Card."

Whatever you do please don't offend the self important and the self appointed!!
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by K3FHP on November 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Rick, maybe that is what ARES looks like in Arizona, but not likely in places where REAL disasters happen(not too many hurricanes in Arizona I suppose). None of the ARES members resemble your descriptions but your area may vary. The only good advice was NOT to get one of those Ham shield badges, or if you do, don't wear it outside your house. Your first episode was enough. Maybe try some Field Day or contest humor.

For those who live, work or are deployed to disaster prone areas, EmComm is not a laughing matter.
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by K3FHP on November 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Rick, maybe that is what ARES looks like in Arizona, but not likely in places where REAL disasters happen(not too many hurricanes in Arizona I suppose). None of the ARES members resemble your descriptions but your area may vary. The only good advice was NOT to get one of those Ham shield badges, or if you do, don't wear it outside your house. Your first episode was enough. Maybe try some Field Day or contest humor.

For those who live, work or are deployed to disaster prone areas, EmComm is not a laughing matter.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by K3FHP on November 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I apologize for the multiple entries, my tablet locked up and I hit the button a couple of extra times after it seemed not to be responding.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by NZ5L on November 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Unlike some posters, I think I really get what the author is getting at. Like many activities in modern life, the form and structure is getting to be as important (more important?) than the core action itself.
Personally, I don't volunteer to run comm at a road rally or 5-K race, but have registered my station for duty in case of emergency. (This actually happened once, due to a hurricane, and I was happy to assist - but didn't wear a vest or a hat)
The road rally people can use cell phones.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KG7LEA on November 4, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
In addition to the cruise and the marathon ham volunteers provide important safety functions at large events like multi-day bike rides and back country endurance races. In the Bigfoot 200 series runners take to the trails 24 hours a day where there is no electricity, no Internet, no cell service, no phone service, and no plumbing. These events challenge the technical aspects of the Amateur Radio Service setting up nets in mountainous terrain over a wide area and the personal aspects of deploying in a primitive environment.

Most events have at least one emergency medical issue that is resolved successfully with amateur radio volunteers.
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KG4NEL on November 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
One of the idiosyncrasies that's always concerned me about ham radio-based emergency response - and believe me, this isn't specific to ham radio - is how self-sufficient and ready hams can be to be deployed and remain somewhere.

It's a sensitive topic, but if you're 300lbs and reliant on diabetes meds, are you the best choice to deploy to an area that may not have reliable power? Or if you have 5 kids, a wife and a dog to take care of first? Of course, the irony is that the younger, potentially less-attached people who'd be ideal for deployments also have these things called "jobs" that preclude them from doing a lot of the day-to-day training that someone who's retired could do.
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KA0USE on November 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
oh, you called THAT right!
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KD7OQC on November 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe you should be titled, "How to Fail as an ARES Volunteer"
 
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KD8NGE on November 10, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
HILARIOUS!!!
I put a quarter of a century of my life under the siren, I've been fire chief, town marshal and a working paramedic, then I went into nursing.
My wife tells me I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up.
I've seen paid professionals who exhibit many of the traits described by the OP, especially the new guys.
I, too, needed a good laugh, and this post gave me a great one!
I will say this and then I'll close:
Every time I take myself too seriously, I end up looking like the north end of a south bound horse.
This OP is an excellent reminder, at least to me, of my need to avoid that traveling equine's appearance!
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by N9LCD on November 16, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Whatever you do, PLEASE OFFEND the self-important and the self-appointed.

They're asking for it!
 
RE: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Reply
by KB6QXM on November 17, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Most of the EMCOMM people have really not spent any time in an actual emergency. I have spoke to many public service people who actually think that EMCOMM people in recent years are more of a nuisance than an asset.

30 plus years ago before the infrastructure of cell technology and satellite phones were built, well trained amateurs actually served a real service to public service personnel shadowing them in areas that were covered by the public service repeaters.

Back a few decades ago, the ARES people were actually trained in first aid, certifications from the Office of Emergency Services and FEMA. I know, I was one of them. I was the EC that provided actual health and welfare communications coming out of the Santa Cruz mountains during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The real deal, trained in traffic handling, first aid and other emergency-related knowledge.

My hat is off to EMCOMM people that are actually trained and asked by Public Service personnel to actually assist. Not some propeller head that wants to feel important.
 
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