A Reminder For Net Control Station

The following was recently received in an ARRL document. It is a good tutorial. While each ARES net may have some unique points based on service delivery these tip should be helpful to all.

Hints and Kinks for New Net Control Stations

Net Manager Dave Davis, WA4WES, offered the following hints for new net control stations from the Level II of the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course:

1. If the net is a scheduled net, start on time.

2. Use a script. This promotes efficient net operation.

3. Be friendly yet in control. Speak slowly and clearly with an even tone. Speak with confidence, even if you are inwardly nervous.

4. Write down all calls.

5. During check-ins, recognize participants by name whenever possible. This boosts morale

6. Frequently identify the name and purpose of the net.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you need it. Have an alternate net control station (NCS).

8. Keep transmissions as short as possible.

9. Transmit only facts.

10. When necessary use standard ITU phonetics.

11. For voice nets, use plain English. Do not use Q signals

12. If the net has been quiet for more than ten minutes, check on operator status. One of the functions and duties of an NCS is to keep a current list of stations checking in, where they are, their individual assignments, and what capabilities they have.

RAC Welcomes the First Section Manager for Prince Edward Island

In a bulletin issued at the beginning of the year I noted that RAC members in Prince Edward Island who had been seeking a new separate Section for RAC ARES in PEI had been successful and the position was open for election. I am happy to report that the election process has concluded and I would like to congratulate William Caw, VY2CAW, as the new and first Section Manager for the PEI Section.

First, a bit of background. There are four levels of ARES organization: National, Section, District and Local. Sections are geographically-based administrative units organized to deliver RAC services to non-government organizations and governments through the ARES program. The senior RAC official in each Section is the Section Manager (SM). The SM appoints a Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) for the Section. The SEC, in turn, appoints District Emergency Coordinators (DEC) for each region. DECs, in turn, appoint Emergency Coordinators for each city in their District. 

The ARRL and RAC both have Sections and – as in the case of some other administrative structures that RAC inherited from the ARRL as a result of our shared history – the functions of our Sections have changed over the years to meet our particular circumstances.

William Caw, VY2CAW, is a second generation Amateur Radio operator having been introduced to Amateur Radio by his father G4ALV (SK). His father was a victim of polio and therefore William was co-opted into stringing dipoles, erecting rotating beams, running coax and soldering connectors. 

William’s first Amateur Radio Christmas present was an enormous radio receiver from a battleship (war surplus was in great supply) and William became an enthusiastic Short Wave Listener. 

Many years passed and William emigrated to Canada. He joined the federal public service with Transport Canada, Emergency Preparedness Branch. In planning for Y2K, Amateur Radio featured as a backup resource in the Emergency Operations Centres and this reignited his interest. 

He is currently living in Argyle Shore on beautiful Prince Edward Island and is a volunteer with the PEI Red Cross and is interested in the concept of Amateur Radio as a public service. He is a member of both the Charlottetown and Summerside Amateur Radio Clubs.

In the future, the Maritimes Section that had earlier coordinated the ARES activities in the three Maritime provinces will continue to be responsible for the activities in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and the new PE Section will deal with the activities on Prince Edward Island. We look forward to reading about the new PE Section in the Public Service / ARES column and in the Section News in upcoming issues of TCA. 

Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA
RAC President and Chair

An Important Reminder For ARES

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

Coast Emergency Communications Association