ACARES Monthly Meeting -- December 13th 7:00pm -- CCSD Educatonal Support Center

Items in this posting

  1. Welcome Peter Meer, KC0VAQ as the New Planning Section Chief
  2. By-Laws Update
  3. NWS Boulder Site Visits
  4. Colorado AuxComm
  5. Participation Expectations
  6. Participation Tracking
  7. Non-ARES related Training Opportunities
  8. Questions/Concerns/Problems
  9. Why do we need ICS 100, 200, 700, and 800?
  10. Mission Statement
  11. ACARES is somebody now!
  12. Is it ACARES or Arapahoe County ARES Inc.? 

1. Welcome Peter Meer, KC0VAQ, as the new Planning Section Chief Pete was appointed as the new Planning Section Chief by the leadership group. He has a lot of great ideas and we hope you will welcome and support him in his new position.

2. By-Laws Update I will be reviewing the By-Laws and meeting with people in the upcoming weeks so we can get these filed. Per my earlier e-mail, our goal is to make only the changes necessary to bring us into compliance with State and Federal Law. Stay tuned for updates. I want to file once so they need to be right.

3. NWS Boulder Site Visits This is a secure Federal facility and requires prior approval/authorization before your visit. You CANNOT just show up and expect to be let in. Please get in touch with me, KD5DKQ, if you are interested and I can help you make those arrangements. In my absence George Bartling, WA9TCD, can help you.

4. Colorado AuxComm Thanks to our Section Leadership HB16-1040 passed the Colorado Legislature and the Governor is expected to sign it. This is a developing program and we've dedicated a page specifically to it and will add updates as we get them. Click: Colorado AuxComm to go to the page.

5. Participation Expectations Continuing on from Item 4 above, Participation is Mandatory and is a big part in determining whether we can deploy you in the event of an activation. Mandatory Participation Items are:

  • Yearly Background Check/Clearance from ACSO
  • 3 monthly meetings in last 12 months
  • 1 planned training/exercise in last 12 months.
  • Participate in 2 Weather Nets
  • Operate as Net Control for weekly or Weather Net at least 1x a year.
  • Complete ICS 100, 200, 700, & 800 within 12 months.
  • Submit ACARES dues with updated deployment & equipment status.
  • Show proficiency in equipment operation and emergency operating procedures and protocols through participation in training exercises and/or nets.

Life Happens and we get that. If extenuating circumstances are keeping you from meeting the items above talk to me or anybody in the leadership(see the ACARES Leadership page on the website) and we will work with you. Not having the items above limits you in whether you can be deployed and/or what role(s) and position(s) you can volunteer in.

6. Participation Tracking I would like to start tracking members participation in ACARES and non-ACARES events. The details are still being worked out but I wanted to give you a “heads up." Part of the reason is so that we know who meets the minimum requirements and who has experience doing what. Part of it so that we can show our served agencies what a positive community impact our members have in and out of our organization. This means we would like to include your participation in events with other groups such as Omega where you might play a role as victim instead of using your Amateur Radio skills. Lastly, we want to let ARRL know that we are actively engaged in ARES and in our Communities. Zeke Ragsdale, K0XK, was showing me the “Public Service Honor Roll” in the back of your QST Magazine. I would encourage each of you to check it out and start tracking your participation points. As I said, we are still working out the best way to implement this but keep track of your time and send me, EC at Arapahoe County ARES, your list *before* the end of the month. More information on what to track and the associated points can be found on the ARRL's website at: ARRL Public Service Honor Roll

7. Non-ARES Related Training - A list has been added to the Training page. Keep clicking on "Next" to get to it or you can go directly by clicking here. These trainings may or may not allow you to use your Amateur Radio skills but will help in developing your overall situational awareness skills for a big event. Please consider volunteering for some of them!

8. Questions/Concerns/Problems With all of the e-mail I received requesting, demanding, and wanting change I was really surprised to receive only 2 completed forms I sent out! There is still plenty of time so fill a form out and send it to me if you have a suggestion or see a problem that needs fixing. If you have a suggestion or can identify a problem but really don't know what the solution is then Call Me! I will work with you to identify some options and we'll get yours on the books so that it can be addressed! To Summarize the 2 I received:

  1. Not enough Net Controls for Weather Nets.EC- I will tag onto this in that we do not have enough Net Controls in general! For those of you who don't/won't participate as a Net Control I would really like to know why not. I know there are some legitimate reasons but I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to get you involved so please take the time to send me an e-mail. Your comments will be taken seriously and I am serious in requesting them.
  2. Not enough smaller activities/public service events for us to participate in.EC – I agree and think we could do more and as I go around to our served agencies and introduce myself I will be suggesting they use us more often. The only caveat is like my Dad would say “Be careful what you ask for as you may get it!” So let me know what would help get your participation, more advanced notice? Transportation to/from the event? Other?

9. Why do we need ICS 100, 200, 700, and 800? I penned a long winded article and shared m "Ah Ha!" moment on the page: Why do we need ICS 100, 200, 700, and 800?

10. Mission Statement - We developed a Mission Statement out of necessity for paperwork requested by a served agency. What we came up with has been posted on the website at Mission Statement. Please offer any suggestions or ideas for changes to it to me, EC at Arapahoe County ARES;

11. ACARES is somebody now! - Steve Martin said it best in his movie, The Jerk, “Are you kidding?! Page 73, Johnson, Navin, R.! I’m somebody now! Millions of people look at this book every day! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity, you’re name in print, that makes people. I’m in print! Things are going to start happening to me now” How things have changed! Ma Bell and the White and Yellow pages were the place to be back in “the day” but now we have Google and ACARES has a Google Voice Number so we MUST be somebody and “things are going to start happening now!”

It's not the best option for us but it is will get us by for the time being. Our intent is to use it like a pager, our served agencies can call the number, leave a message, and we will get back to them ASAP. Currently, voice mail is going to everybody in the leadership group. Our number is (720)772-R1D2(7132). Nothing else ACARES or ARES related was available in a Front Range number.

12. Is it ACARES or Arapahoe County ARES Inc.? Well, it's both! Arapahoe County ARES Inc.  is registered with the IRS and Secretary of State. More recently ACARES was also registered with the Secretary of State as a Trade Name. Please click on the embedded links to go to the Colorado Secretary of State filings. In practice I would prefer to see us use Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service when interfacing with the public. It's a long name but it is descriptive and doesn't leave the public confused. If we are interfacing with other ARES groups we can use Arapahoe County ARES or ACARES. As time goes by and we get our name out there we can expand the use of ACARES but I want to make sure we're not missing anything because somebody does not recognize that acronym.

I think that's all of I've got for the next 5 minutes! As always please contact me via e-mail or via the phone numbers in our roster.

73 de KD5DKQ