The storm is over and the area is devastated. "A" Tone decoders have gone off. Pagers are beeping with the net frequency. As we check into the net we are requested to report to the northwest staging area for assignments.
Are we ready to deploy? Is our equipment ready? Are we ready to perform the assignment? Do we know what to do?
As we report to the staging area manager, we are logged in and asked what communication function we can perform.
There are needs for shadow operators to work with individuals from various agencies. Base operators to staff several shelters and the fire and police centers. Also a number of "SAG" need operators. Fire, Police, utility services and relief agencies all need "SAG" operators. We may even need someone to go with "charlie fox."
So how do we know which we can perform and perform well? Do we have the training? Do we have the equipment for the function and the know how to use it? Do we know what is required of each function? Do we have the right attitude?
As a public service event coordinator, I generally ask each communicator what equipment he or she has. From this I try to make assignments based on the operator and their equipment and desire. To simplify this and to be more precise with these assignments, with the help of a number of hams, I created a Communicators Resource Type guide. Initially I called it Communicator Modes. In the ICS format, communicators are considered a type of resource. Last year it was introduced to the Dallas area RACES council for consideration. By adhering to a guide like this an amateur when volunteering for an event simply indicates what his resource type is. Its precise to function and equipment. This simplifies the assignment process. It would simplify the staging area manager's job as well since he knows exactly what he has. The Communicator Resource Type guide gives a brief description of each position and suggested equipment needed. Detailed function descriptions are also available.
Now let's review the relevant positions or Resource Types; <<<< Resource Type. Doc >>> indicate where to find documents! http://home.attbi.com/~jrgalvin2/resourcetype.pdf or www.qsl.net/n5tim Ø Communicator Info Ø Garland RACES/ARES Info http://home.attbi.com/~jrgalvin2/graces/races.html
"Are you prepared?"
Have you considered what function you can perform? Are you physically up to the task? Have you trained? Public Service events are great times to get the experience and to experiment and use your equipment in simulated conditions while working various positions.
We need to make a conscious decision to acquire the experience and equip oneself to the task. Decide on what you are capable of and then prepare, equip, and gain experience for that resource type.
We will not always work under ideal conditions or from our own vehicle. Our equipment needs to be portable to operate remotely from our normal environment. The more we train the better we are at our functions and better we can adapt to new challenges.
John Galvin - N5TIM