The following editorial was posted in the ARES Newsletter of April 15 2020. This serves as a good reminder to all ARES folks.
Recently, an amateur emergency communication services organization was informed that their operators would not be needed to support a large event that had Amateur Radio operators working it in the past. The event organizers did not initially give a reason. On the day of the event, however, the group showed up anyway to work the event, and were again directly told that they were not needed and were asked to leave. They did not comply.
The lesson here is that if any amateur group is told by an organization that it is not needed for any reason, then we are to take that at face value, and not just show up. We can be ready to support and serve, but we are not to try to force our way in. We are “guests” in the “home” of our served agencies or organizations. We serve if, where, how and when they want us to serve. We come into their domain with humility and an attitude of being a servant. We are not there to take over, nor try to run the show — we are there to respond to their direction to support and serve if they so desire our participation. As a result of the unfortunate situation described above, it is very possible that that amateur organization will not be invited to support that or any other events or incidents in the future. The organizers of that event are part of other served agencies that Amateur Radio has supported, and now the overall relationship is damaged, which is what happens when we forget our true place. — Scott Roberts, KK4ECR, Public Information Officer