HO HO HO! to all the Oklahoma hams out there!I hope everyone is settling into the season and getting their rigs all warmed up for the upcoming operating season. Not a lot going on in the section at the moment, but there are a few things of note. All you instructors out there, if you are using the League powerpoint for your classes and feel as I do it's pretty bad...somtime after the first of the year, we should be rolling a totally upgraded version for your use.....in color and more dynamic! Upcoming hamfests include Elk City the firstin March and Green Country the second weekend in April. Lastly, we received an e-mail from HQ on 12/18 about change in ARES. I'm printing it here so you will know everything we, your section leaderwhip knows.Changes Coming to the Amateur Radio Emergency Service
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) has been the public service communications program of the ARRL since 1935. Over the program’s eight decades it has occasionally undergone updates to make sure it meets the needs of partners at all levels, adjusts to changes in the Amateur Radio Service, and incorporate lessons learned from emergency and disaster activations. However, the last major update to ARES occurred more than 40 years ago, and it is quite clear that a lot has changed since then.
So, two years ago, the ARRL board of directors created the Public Service Enhancement Working Group to study the ARRL’s public service offerings and recommend changes and improvements. The working group focused on many areas including training, volunteer management, field organization positions, and mission – all areas of concern brought to the board and staff’s attention from those in the field. The recommendations were vetted through a peer review group of field organization volunteers and readied for implementation.
In the months ahead, you will receive information on enhancements coming to the ARES program, including:
The first step in the next evolution of ARES is group identification. Currently there is no way to identify ARES groups or their associated volunteers with a searchable unique designator, which makes reporting and accountability difficult. Beginning ARES groups will need to sign up for their unique ARES identification number. This number will be utilized by the ARES Connect system and provide ARES groups with unique benefits (think club affiliation, but for ARES!).
- A new national mission statement for ARES
- New national training requirements and local training resources for ARES
- Updated field organization job descriptions
- Improved ARES operating guidelines
- New ARES group benefits
- A new volunteer management system – ARES Connect
Once ARES groups receive their identification numbers they will be eligible for benefits including:
Groups that will need an ARES identification number include local level (city/county/district) and section level. Information about the ARES identification application process will be sent out the week before the application system opens.
- ARES book sets (great for the EOC or Red Cross radio room)
- New ham referral
- Early access to the annual ARES Report
- Email forwarding, which will provide ARES groups that have a club callsign with a uniform "call firstname.lastname@example.org"
- More to come!
If you have any questions, please contact ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, email@example.com
ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working Group
Dale Williams, WA8EFK
If you have any questions, I will attempt to answer them as infobecomes available.I hope everyone in the section has a Merry Christmas and aHappy New Year! (And just maybe, I'll get the station up andrunning!!!)Kevin O'Dell, N0IRWOklahoma Section Manager