delara newsDelaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH VOL 37 NUMBER 3
Amateur Radio Emergency Service Transitioning to
New Online Reporting System
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) will phase out the traditional ARES report forms later this year in favor of an online system called ARES Connect, a volunteer management, communications, and reporting system. The new system will allow information to be logged by ARES members and managed through the Field Organization. The advent of ARES Connect is one of the key elements highlighted in "The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) 2017 Annual Report.”"ARES Connect is a volunteer management system that covers event signup, reporting, and roster management," ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, said. "It does not change how ARES operates when serving a partner entity; it is simply a system that will make managing volunteers and events easier." Ohio Plays a major partOhio is one of the sections to begin testing this system. Beta testing of ARES Connect will begin in March. ARES made changes to its report forms last year to make it easier to process information at ARRL Headquarters and to standardize the format for all forms. ARES Monthly Reports have been posted to the ARRL website, providing regular information on Amateur Radio public service communication activity, the report noted.According to the 2017 report, ARES membership stands at 31,332, up by nearly 13% from 2016. The number of emergency operations events reported was up by 665 from the previous year, with 1,913 reported in 2017. The top three states in terms of ARES membership in 2017 were California (2,265), Texas (1,930), and Ohio (1,858).Reported ARES events amounted to 51,673 in 2017 -- a 4% increase -- accounting for 718,930 volunteer hours at a calculated value of more than $17.3 million."There was a noticeable increase in reported activity during August through November," the ARES 2017 Annual Report said. "During this period there was Amateur Radio response activity for hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; wildfires in the western states, and the total solar eclipse that occurred on August 21."According to the report, 26 states gained ARES members, while 13 lost members.
Propriety Needed When Working with Partner
From the ARRL Introduction to Emergency Communication course: Amateurs as Professionals -- The Served Agency Relationship. When serving in the EOC, "your job is to meet the communication needs of the served agency. Period. It is not to show off your fancy equipment, nor to impress anyone with your knowledge of radio and electronics. A "know-it-all" or "I will show you how good I am, and how inadequate you are" attitude will end your--and our--relationship with the served agency in a hurry." Too many times I've heard hams stating to the officials, "No.This is how we are going to do it."We ran an exercise here a while back simulating a failure of the public safety comm system. Hams rode on fire trucks and simulated rescues, relaying the reports and messages of the officers on the truck. Rather than be self sufficient, one of our operators sat down at the dinner table at the fire station (uninvited) and proceeded to help himself to three or four donuts from the firefighters' stash. While the event as a whole was a success, that one operator's actions is what left the largest impression upon the Battalion Chief. He kids me about it any time I see him. -- Rick Reuther, KC2HFL, Palm Coast, FloridaA Primer on Background ChecksThe following is a memo that was prepared by ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay W3KD, for the ARRL Programs and Services Committee last year, on the Types of Background Checks Our Members May Encounter: There are three main types of background checks. The first is a criminal background check, which involves checking criminal dockets to determine whether or not there have been convictions for crimes, both misdemeanors and felonies. These are conducted only via law enforcement agency records and criminal court docket records.The second is a credit check, to determine creditworthiness. For credit checks, information is obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from a consumer reporting agency, or from the subject of the credit check individually.The most comprehensive (and intrusive) type of background check is what the Federal Trade Commission refers to as an "investigative consumer report." This looks into information on a consumer's character, general reputation, personal characteristics, and mode of living. The information is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of information. This does NOT, however, include specific factual information on a consumer's credit record. Investigative consumer reports are what are used in establishing eligibility for (A) employment purposes; or (B) any other purpose authorized under section 604 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The types of information that may be obtained in an investigative consumer report include, but are not limited to: social security number verification, criminal record checks, public court records checks, driving records checks, educational records checks, verification of employment positions held, personal and professional references checks, licensing and certification checks, etc.A copy of the ARRL General Counsel's memorandum is available on the ARRL website.- ARR: E-Letter
Reminder: Statewide tornado drill March 5
Stan Broadway, N8BHLOhio Section Emergency CoordinatorOhio ARES on alertThe past few weeks have been an important period for Ohio ARES! With record rainfall, flooding in the ‘usual places’ was assured, and as it turned out unusually damaging floods were reported along the Ohio River. A total of 70 rivers were at flood stage during the week and weekend. Ohio ARES distributed several alert emails so the entire state was updated, and many EC’s were busy contacting their county EMA’s. ARES volunteers all across the state were standing at the ready. Although we understood it was not a ‘communications’ emergency, there were still many areas which amateur radio might have been required to play a role. Flooding in California, OH (Tim Jeffries, Facebook)Lunken airport (Tim Jeffries, Facebook)Paul Brown stadium (Tim Jeffries, Facebook)Flood damage was reported in New Richmond, Hardin County, Pomeroy, and Portsmouth.In Scioto County, where significant damage was inflicted to Portsmouth, was on the alert early and set an example. Flooding resulted in small-scale, isolated evacuations, road closures, and damage to structures. ARES members were alerted by EC Gib Carver, and stood ready to assist. Flood gates were installed with the help of the Ohio National Guard and early requests were made to the state for assistance. Later, Ohio Governor John Kasich said preparations by local and state officials ahead of heavy rains and expected flooding helped Ohio "dodge a bullet" with no loss of life reported to this point. He praised Scioto County for taking steps early. A major population area was Cincinnati and Hamilton County, where EC Bryan Hoffman, KC8EGB, was in very early contact with responders. Bryan has this figured out! He sent out regular updates to members, having them at the ready if they were called. As the situation worsened the Ohio crested at 60’, and agencies were on duty. Reports Bryan, “HamCo ARES was contacted by CEMA to activate for assistance with damage assessment and public information. CEMA is setting up a Field Command and Information Center to distribute info to the general public and to coordinate assessment and cleanup efforts in eastern Cincinnati.We will be providing an additional command link between this site and the ROC (where the Cincy EMA is active). Their plan is to use us as an additional means of comms outside of the usual public service links. This will allow them a direct link between the commanders at each location.”This was not a “communications” emergency. But there are many other services we can provide, such as situational awareness during the development period, assistance in communicating from EOC to shelters, and damage assessment. I’m proud to point out the exemplary work by our EC’s all over the state who were ready to go! Ohio ARES ConferenceThe Ohio ARES conference is shaping up to be a big event! We start the day with Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, going into detail about the ARRL’s committee report that will re-shape ARES nationwide. There are lots of changes on the way, and we’ll get a profile from Dale, who chaired the committee! We’ll talk training, of course, and other important topics that you can take home to your groups. We’ll wrap up with a great presentation by George Reidel, N1EZZ. George was one of the first amateur radio responders to Puerto Rico, and was on St Marks island when the second hurricane came through! He lived the amateur radio mantra: When all else fails. It did, and George helped get them through. The conference is scheduled for April 7, Saturday, at the OSU Marion / Marion Tech campus in Marion, OH. The meeting is in the health care lecture hall (a luxurious setting!) Registration is available on the arrl-ohio.org website. This is a must-see for EC’s and assistants, and ALL amateurs are warmly welcomed! I hope to see you there. NVIS DayWe haven’t talked much about it yet, but our annual NVIS Day is set for Saturday April 28, starting at 10 AM. Our objective is to create antennas that work well within a 400 mile radius- necessary for local HF communication during emergencies. Get some wire, some design ideas, a group of hams, and a grill! We highly recommend a good BBQ lunch and time to fellowship around the antenna projects!