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Author Topic: Do served organizations really want our help?  (Read 5407 times)
W9FIB
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Posts: 2531




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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2018, 09:03:19 AM »

Yes, they do indeed.

As long as you present a professional appearance and an attitude of "what do you need us to do". And follow through on what you are asked to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

You serve at their pleasure and need. Not what you think you should do. When you think, you get in the way and do nothing to help. Do what they ask, and become an important tool.
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73, Stan
Wisdom is knowledge you gain after you know it all.
KD4LLA
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Posts: 509




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« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2018, 03:06:54 PM »

I live in southern MN.

The MN ARMER system works very, very well, is state-wide, and every state trooper, MNDoT snowplow, fire, EMS, and county sheriff is on it.  Users can talk from one end of the state to the other, as if everything was a "local repeater".

With an outdoor antenna connected to my scanner, I can hear ten MN ARMER tower sites w/ in 40 miles of my location.  I have often heard out-of-area talkgroups and incidents that are going on in the Minneapolis/ St Paul area. 

I have approached my local county sheriff and got the "No, we don't need you as back-up anymore" look...

Before MN ARMER local hams near me had a VHF radio in the 911 dispatch office and in the county emergency command trailer.

Unless you can get yourself w/ a government-affiliated agency, hams in general (in my county) are unwanted.
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AI7PM
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2018, 03:11:15 PM »

Served agencies do want amateur radio in the tool bag, they just don't want the drama and cry babies that come along with it. And believe me, it does happen.

Amateur radio operators need to learn how to be professional. Take the classes the served agency wants you to take. realize they are the ones in charge. And leave the politics to your own club meetings, the served agency doesn't want it.

THAT! ^^^^^^^^
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AI7PM
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2018, 03:11:53 PM »

Yes, they do indeed.

As long as you present a professional appearance and an attitude of "what do you need us to do". And follow through on what you are asked to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

You serve at their pleasure and need. Not what you think you should do. When you think, you get in the way and do nothing to help. Do what they ask, and become an important tool.

And THIS one right here^^^^^^^^^^.
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KJ7WT
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2018, 09:01:59 AM »

Good question! I live in Carson City, NV, and have periodically tried to get information about how ham radio can assist local LEOs and other first responders in case of natural (or man-made) disasters. So far, the response has been underwhelming. I finally was able to get a contact name via a local fire department battalion chief. It turns out this lady was a CERT member, and had recently gotten a ham radio license, and was interested in finding ways to integrate ham radio into that group. I contacted her, and got a "we'll get back to you" reply. So far, no other activity. Interestingly, the counties to the north and south of us both have apparently fairly active ham-radio based integration with the governmental agencies, but it seems that one of the reasons is that many hams are also part of those organizations.
I also went to the ARRL website to find a local ARES coordinator, and emailed him twice, with no response.
In the meantime, I help with comms for local cycling and running events. Hopefully, I'll be able to continue a conversation with the local CERT rep and find a way to be of assistance.
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K6CPO
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Posts: 543




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« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2018, 03:19:26 PM »

Just to give an example about how some first responders, particularly police, feel about amateur radio operators.  My club has had a working relationship with the local fire department for some time, including the routine maintenance and operation of the city's "Emergency Communications Trailer."  However, when I (as President) and the club Secretary attended the police department's annual "Night Out Against Crime"  we discovered no one at the PD, including the communications dispatchers and the officer in charge of the department's own comm van, knew the trailer even existed. 

Even though the city Fire Department and the city Emergency Coordinator are aware the trailer exists, there is no money in the city budget to maintain it.  Currently, it is such poor shape we consider it to be non-operational. 

We have a better relationship with the CERT group.  We have allowed them use of our repeater for their weekly nets and in the event they need it for an exercise of emergency. 
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KA9OFN
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« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2018, 04:48:43 PM »

Years ago I got an unsolicited letter from the county ESDA inviting me, as a ham, to join an emergency/disaster response group.

For my own reasons I did not join the group but it was obvious that they wanted help so badly they were shotgunning out letters asking for it!

I don't know whatever became of the effort or to what extent hams are used by professional response organizations.  I do know our local hospital has a functioning amateur radio station, as does the public safety comms center.

It seems that served organizations' willingness to work with hams varies greatly depending on geography. In some places hams are warmly embraced, and in others they don't want us anywhere near.

I would guess ham assistance is more accepted in rural/less populated areas where professional staff and budgets are limited. They see amateur radio as a "force multiplier" that costs little or no money.

  

« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 04:50:46 PM by KA9OFN » Logged
K6CPO
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Posts: 543




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« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2018, 02:59:30 PM »

Years ago I got an unsolicited letter from the county ESDA inviting me, as a ham, to join an emergency/disaster response group.

For my own reasons I did not join the group but it was obvious that they wanted help so badly they were shotgunning out letters asking for it!

I don't know whatever became of the effort or to what extent hams are used by professional response organizations.  I do know our local hospital has a functioning amateur radio station, as does the public safety comms center.

It seems that served organizations' willingness to work with hams varies greatly depending on geography. In some places hams are warmly embraced, and in others they don't want us anywhere near.

I would guess ham assistance is more accepted in rural/less populated areas where professional staff and budgets are limited. They see amateur radio as a "force multiplier" that costs little or no money.


I think the larger jurisdictions still have a "whacker" view of amateur radio.  It's up to us to change this view.  We need to make sure we are very professional.

The San Diego County, CA, ARES group is well accepted by the county hospital system and this has happened in a large part due to the efforts of the Section Manager and the Section Emergency Coordinator.  All of the operators we provide to the local hospitals are required to be vetted and be issued a county disaster services worker identification.  Our SEC will not even submit our information to the county until we have completed the ICS 100, 200, 700 and 800 courses and a session of HIPAA training. Many of our members are now taking advanced level ICS and state courses as well. 
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2018, 10:23:08 AM »

There isn't any organized amateur radio emergency groups at the local level by me. There used to be but that is long gone. There is some at the county level. Aside from local Police, Fire, EMS.. the police handle any of the Emergency Management and pull in the County as needed. Red Cross gets pulled in as needed. There are some CERT groups active as well. They were used most recently during one of the larger power outages to man the cooling (or was it warming) centers. Our local radio club used to help out at local running races, etc.. but now the races organize themselves.. as everyone uses their cell phones or FRS.
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KJ4RWH
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« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2019, 06:54:47 PM »

Your Local Voting Board is Looking for
a Few Good Men (with handi-talkies)

With the infrastructure on the verge of complete collapse and the very real possibility of anarchy in the streets, the Bedford, PA polling stations call the Ham Radio Reserves to active duty!

BEDFORD, BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) -- The Bedford County Emergency Management Agency will enhance its posture on Election Day to monitor for any incidents or events that could possibly impact the ability of citizens to vote during the election.

This includes significant road closures, power or utility disruptions, fires other emergencies prompting evacuations and any civil disturbance.

Bedford County Amateur Radio Emergency Services and the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service will stand up teams ready to deploy across Bedford  County to any polling location if needed.

Each team will have the means to supply power to the facility and communication to the County 911 center.
 

Our Amateur Radio Task Force is once again helping to assure citizens will be able to cast their ballots without interruption or significant delay. This volunteer group represents an essential emergency communication service, which they provide at no cost to the County. Other Counties have modeled their organizations from ours"

- David Cubbison: Bedford County Department of Emergency Services

Columns of cloned "Walter Mitty" six a breast marched down Main St to let the citizens know "all was well" and it was safe to come outside. The crowd responded with polite applause and the clatter of J-45 keys.

 
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KB8VUL
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Posts: 320




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« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2019, 09:39:30 PM »

You have to show worth, and with a significant communications system, that's not reasonably possible.  The powers that be have been told the system is fool proof. And for the amount of money spent, they believe it.  So don't go at it thinking that you are going to convince them you are needed for communications.  Find other ways to serve the agency and the public at large.  There is a threat that got dusted off that is quite old entitled non-licensed operators... go read what I just posted there tonight and start considering what you can do.  But the big think I can tel you is quit training to address a certain problem or disaster.  COme up with training and procedures to deal with the commonalities of all disasters. Things like people being displaced from their homes.  and lack of ability for teh general public to communicate with the outside world.  Come up with a trailer with kiosk computers with some sort of access to email and social media for the general public to login and tell their families they are alive and then you have done something that the EMA folks are not even worried about but the public will love you for.
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W9FIB
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« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2019, 03:04:24 AM »

  and lack of ability for teh general public to communicate with the outside world.  Come up with a trailer with kiosk computers with some sort of access to email and social media for the general public to login and tell their families they are alive and then you have done something that the EMA folks are not even worried about but the public will love you for.

Now that is an interesting idea.
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73, Stan
Wisdom is knowledge you gain after you know it all.
AC7CW
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Posts: 1356




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« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2019, 08:19:13 AM »

  and lack of ability for teh general public to communicate with the outside world.  Come up with a trailer with kiosk computers with some sort of access to email and social media for the general public to login and tell their families they are alive and then you have done something that the EMA folks are not even worried about but the public will love you for.

Now that is an interesting idea.

A satphone wifi hotspot does that
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Novice 1958, 20WPM Extra now... (and get off my lawn)
KB8VUL
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Posts: 320




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« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2019, 10:30:38 AM »

  and lack of ability for teh general public to communicate with the outside world.  Come up with a trailer with kiosk computers with some sort of access to email and social media for the general public to login and tell their families they are alive and then you have done something that the EMA folks are not even worried about but the public will love you for.

Now that is an interesting idea.

A satphone wifi hotspot does that

To you and I it is.... very simple.  To a non-technical person that has no computer or technology knowledge other than turning it on and using it, this is again black magic.  Fifty years ago communicating across the country with no wires was black magic.  To those that didn't realize that was how it was done then.  Now, we have cell phones that can communicate globally and it fits in our pocket.  Compared to ham radio,, to the uninformed, ham radio is antiquated and even archaic.  But have the internet and cell service fail... and you can still log into Facebook.. you are some sort of God, a master of space and time.  Even though you are doing the same thing that the ISP's are doing on a smaller scale. If the fact you can do it that is significant.

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N9AOP
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Posts: 1174




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« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2019, 09:54:56 AM »

Served agencies really do want our help.  It may not be in comms but there is always a ton of grunt work to be done.
Art
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