Some of you already know I have started a recruiting
ARES/RACES. It kicked off Sunday at the CVARS Hamfest
(Chehalis). I started this effort because there isn't a single
ARES/RACES unit in WA that has enough trained operators to staff a
24-7 response. We all have known that but haven't figured out how
to get the rest of the Hams interested in supporting the
community or training.
The entire country was awakened and united on Sept.
people, Hams included, want to help but don't know how. We can
use their desire to our advantage. As I have said before, we are
not immune from terrorist attack in the NW. We can only guess at
the form it may take and where it will happen. If and when it
does happen, we can count on it being a major event that will
overwhelm the local resources. In NYC over 350 operators were
involved in the 12 hour shifts that went on for over 2 weeks.
Where would we get that many trained operators?
We need to let Hams know we need their help. I'm
Hams who have never made a commitment as well as those who say
they are part of the system but never show up for anything
including training. They need to be registered emergency workers
and they need to trained.
The recruiting campaign needs to be supported and
every DEC, EC and their staff. What I am suggesting is getting on
every net you can find and let the participants know we need them
to join ARES/RACES and get trained. Stress that they need to know
the communications plan to be useful. Get the same message to
every club by giving a personal presentation. Take a sign up
sheet and emergency worker applications with you and sign them up
on the spot. Get every active member of your team to contact
every Ham they know who is not an active ARES/RACES member and
encourage them to be part of the team.
The training issue is just as important as getting
volunteers to make a commitment. If you have a training program
but you feel it needs improvement, now is the time to do it. If
you do not have meaningful training, now is the time to create
it. In either case, I suggest you review the material at
http://home.earthlink.net/~w0ipl/EmCom/ and review the State
RACES Plan http://www.wa.gov/wsem/2-ops/ops-plans/races/racesplan-idx.htm
for pieces missing from your training. Ensure your training
includes message handling, simplex operations and thought
provoking exercises that ensure everyone knows how to use their
own equipment and the equipment installed in EOCs, hospitals, Red
This message is targeted at all major population
the counties (jurisdictions) that are outside those centers. When
we are attacked, we will need maximum participation from every
jurisdiction. Let's make sure we are ready when we are called. I
have started the ball rolling, it's up to all of you to ensure it
picks up momentum.
Ed Bruette, N7NVP
WWa. Section Emergency Coordinator