What some misguided US hams think about ARES and APRS...


A couple weeks ago, I posted a message about how I think we should approach
our involvement in public service events. I just got some interesting feedback from it
that I wanted to share..

>Just a personal note on the Emergency Communications article. [deleted] and I both
>received that E-mail as well and discussed it at length. We felt that it is plain and
>simply a BAD article written by an egotistical techno-nut intent on convincing everyone
>else on how superior his perceived emergency communications skills are. And, quite frankly,
>he's batting in entirely the WRONG ball park. It is not OUR job to organize an event for
>the organizers. That is THEIR job. It is not OUR job to operate THEIR radios or public
>safety radios for THEM. That too is THEIR job. While having first aid skills is certainly
>commendable for communicators, amateur radio support of public service events is to
>provide safety communications and to let the professionals know when and where there
>is a problem and facilitate as rapid a professional response as possible. If a first-aid trained
>ham operator gets busy with CPR or first aid, they may well neglect the communication
>aspects of the situation on which the professionals rely. It is hard enough to get good
>ham communicators for events without requiring that they be first-aid certified, have
>thorough knowledge of public safety protocols and emergency codes and have thorough
>knowledge of how to operate public safety communication equipment and trunked systems,
>and to boot, be APRS equipped. For the most part, we assign operators to known
>checkpoints at designated locations with a few rovers. While APRS might be useful for
>rovers, it would only slow down response in terms of the known checkpoints. If this
>egotistical SOB is a police or ambulance wanna-be fine -- amateur radio isn't keeping him
>from achieving those goals, but to say that all amateurs who volunteer their time, equipment
>and effort to provide safety communications at events have to meet his perceived lofty goals
>is ABSURD. [signature deleted]