- April 20, 2019 at 00:15 #724
I remember last year there was a proposed revision to ARES rules and supporting infrastructure. As I recall, a centralized database was in the works for credentialing and tracking training records. There was also a proposal that ARES officers (ECs, etc.) needed ICS-400, whereas regular people needed ICS-300.
Where does this stand?
- April 21, 2019 at 03:30 #725
Here’s a link to the ARES Strategic Plan. (.PDF file.)
From the ARES E-Letter from February 20th:
ARRL Board Meets in January: ARES Plan Adopted, National Traffic System Embraced
The ARRL Board of Directors – the League’s elected policymakers — met in formal session last month, taking significant actions of special interest to ARES, NTS and other amateur emergency communications communities.
The chairman of the Public Service Enhancement Working Group (PSEWG), Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, updated the Board on how the committee had incorporated comments gathered from last fall’s survey into its report and the new ARES Strategic Plan draft. The Board adopted the ARES Plan as proposed by the PSEWG and recommended by its Programs and Services Committee. The new, full ARES Plan can be viewed here.
Under the new plan, there are three ways to serve with commensurate levels of training requirements that will allow ARES participants to enter the program, and if they choose, migrate to higher levels of qualification and service. Level 1 is the basic ARES level, with introductory training conducted by the local ARES group to meet their needs and those of their served agency or partners. This training could be formal or informal, and would introduce the ARES participant to the fundamentals of emergency communications and provide instruction on how participants are to conduct themselves while serving in the field or otherwise activated. Participants may elect to remain at this level, or any level, based upon the extent of their desired ARES involvement.
Level 2 — To qualify for this level, participants must complete the following courses: ARRL’s EC-001 Introduction to Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (a no-cost program) and the now ubiquitous FEMA Independent Study courses IS-100, IS-200, IS-700, and IS-800 that lend critical knowledge for operating efficiently under the Incident Command System. Participants are also encouraged to take advantage of training opportunities available through partners to enhance their knowledge and skill set.
Level 3 — The successful candidate will complete training that prepares them to assume ARES leadership positions, including the key program coordinators: the local/county Emergency Coordinator (EC), Assistant District EC, District EC, Assistant SEC, and the Section Emergency Coordinator. Leaders are required to complete ARRL’s EC-016, Emergency Communications for Management, and FEMA Professional Development Series courses IS-120, IS-230, IS-240, IS-241, IS-242, IS-244, and IS-288, the Role of Voluntary Organizations in Emergency Management. Participants also are encouraged to complete the FEMA courses IS-300, and IS-400 should they be available locally.
Readers are encouraged to review the entire new plan, as it represents the first major program changes in decades and will form the cornerstone for the venerable ARES program going forward. PSEWG Chairman Williams said the adoption of the ARES Plan is not the end of this process. “ARES cannot remain stagnant only to be updated once every few generations. The ARES Plan, and the ARES program, must be able to evolve,” he said, adding that the emergency preparedness staff at ARRL headquarters will conduct an annual ARES Review to insure continued program relevance. There is more discussion of the new ARES Plan from ARRL Communications Manager David Isgur, N1RSN, here.
Wlliams noted that after finishing the ARES portion of its agenda, it will move to work on aspects of the National Traffic System. The Board adopted a resolution recognizing that the National Traffic System provides a large corps of operators experienced in formal third party message handling and routing procedures, dedicated to providing emergency communications via radio. The Board noted that NTS uses all modes as appropriate and needed. The Board affirmed ARRL support for the National Traffic System and all amateurs involved in traffic handling, and their role as partners to ARES in ARRL’s public service toolkit. The Board recognized the role and value of ARES and NTS in directly serving the public in addition to partnering with served agencies.
In other actions, the Board created a committee to establish the requirements for the ARRL’s Emergency Preparedness Manager function. The committee, to be known as the EmComm Manager Requirements Committee, was charged with filing a final report two weeks before the Board reconvenes in July 2019.
- April 21, 2019 at 03:33 #726
At the January Board meeting, the ARRL released its ARES Plan. ICS-300 and ICS-400 were removed as requirements, but are listed as “recommended” for ARES leadership only (SECs and ECs). The full ARES Plan can be downloaded here: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Public%20Service/ARES/ARES%20Plan%20-%20rev%2001-30%20-19.pdf.
The ARES plan is subject to revision as needs change. It is a living document. If you have comments regarding the ARES Plan, please contact your Vice Director, Mark Tharp, KB7HDX, who is a member of the Public Service Enhancement Working Group, and is responsible for the document.
The database is known as the ARES Connect program. Not every SEC in every Northwestern Division section is requiring that members participate in the program. I know what neither Alaska nor Oregon are participating at this time. If you have a question that regards whether or not your Section is participating, please contact your Section Manager, or Section Emergency Coordinator.
I hope this answers your questions!
Director, ARRL Northwestern Divison
ARRL Northwestern Division Director
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