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Old 05-26-2017, 07:39 PM
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Being an suspicious old fart, I always take note of things that seem a little off. For example, when I called in for my social security to activate, they naturally asked about my military time. No problem, but they went on to ask my exact rank at discharge (i had already told them I was an NCO), my MOS and what specific units I was attached to. I thought that weird and till this day I cant find anyone else they asked this detail, even though it is all info in my DD-214.

Anyway, today I got a formal letter asking me to join ARES, no big deal, BUT it was on my local municipal fire department (not a VFD) letterhead, signed by the Chief. Now we are not in a hurricane zone, a tornado zone or by any chemical plants, in others words the biggest local emergency is normally a car wreck or a house fire.

I am all for doing my part for the community, but it struck me as strange that it would come as an official letter from a government (local) agency. I just wonder if local officials are sensing the unease of the current national (and world) temperament? We are about 50 miles from downtown Houston, so we are not a suburb, but a classic "bedroom" town.

Is this normal for ARES recruitment, to solicit through local government agencies?

Maybe I need to expand the band on my tin foil hat.
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Old 05-26-2017, 08:30 PM
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My guess is he's just an ARES member who happens to also be the fire chief. One of my Elmers is an ARES and also MARS member, and is our local SAR coordinator.

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Old 05-26-2017, 08:34 PM
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Sounds to me like the local government who has an MOU with the local ARES organization wants to run background checks on their volunteers. Post 9/11 this is fairly routine because you don't want convicted felons, registered sex offenders etc. working in shelter settings with kids, etc.

When I was the RACES training officer for Arlington County, VA all RACES volunteers submitted to an FBI fingerprint check and State criminal background check. These would be in process while the applicant was in training, and after completion of the required course, which was conducted by the Office of Emergency Management - NOT the ARRL course - the /Tango (Trainee) would be assigned to a unit for hands-on training in safety, equipment and procedures.

Once the background and fingerprint checks came back, the Basic Operator's Course completed, a multiple-choice exam passed, and a 6-month probationary review submitted by the unit leader, the trainee would achieve full membership, be sworn, photographed and issued a County photo ID which is used as the personnel check-in and accountability tag under the Incident Command System.

Only after a volunteer is fully vetted and trained are they able to be deployed independently during a declared emergency and receive permanent assignments and training at the fire academy or FEMA EMI.

The Basic Radio Operator Course training materials are available without charge to for nonprofit organization, local government and public safety use for volunteer training purposes within the scope of the copyright statement on our web site. http://www.w4ava.org/training.htm

• Class 1 - Intro to Emergency Communications. Class 1 Materials: PDF -- PowerPoint® -- MP3
• Class 2 - Operating Procedures for Voice Nets. Class 2 Materials: PDF -- PowerPoint®
• Class 3 - Message Handling. Class 3 Materials: PDF -- PowerPoint® -- WAV
• Class 4 - Personal Preparedness and Equipment Class 4 Materials: PDF -- PowerPoint®
• Class 5 - RACES Functions in the EOC. Class 5 Materials: PDF -- PowerPoint®


Since 9/11 as part of our annual recertification process we have been conducting a workshop entitled "Disaster Survival Skills in the Urban Environment" The .ppt presentation may be downloaded at following link: http://www.w4ava.org/races/KKauxcomm33.htm
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Old 05-26-2017, 08:35 PM
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Red Motor

Maybe your right, Just using municipal funds and materials, no matter how small, is kept to official business. If it was a personal letter signed by the chief, your take would be most probable. And it may very well be the case. AS I said, I am just a suspicious old fart with too much time on my hands.

thanks
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Old 05-26-2017, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
Sounds to me like the local government who has an MOU with the local ARES organization wants to run background checks on their volunteers. Post 9/11 this is fairly routine because you don't want convicted felons, registered sex offenders etc. working in shelter settings with kids, etc.

When I was the RACES training officer for Arlington County, VA all RACES volunteers submitted to an FBI fingerprint check and State criminal background check. These would be in process while the applicant was in training, and after completion of the required course, which was conducted by the Office of Emergency Management - NOT the ARRL course - the /Tango (Trainee) would be assigned to a unit for hands-on training in safety, equipment and procedures.

Once the background and fingerprint checks came back, the Basic Operator's Course completed, a multiple-choice exam passed, and a 6-month probationary review submitted by the unit leader, the trainee would achieve full membership, be sworn, photographed and issued a County photo ID which is used as the personnel check-in and accountability tag under the Incident Command System.

Only after a volunteer is fully vetted and trained are they able to be deployed independently during a declared emergency and receive permanent assignments and training at the fire academy or FEMA EMI.

The Basic Radio Operator Course training materials are available without charge to for nonprofit organization, local government and public safety use for volunteer training purposes within the scope of the copyright statement on our web site. http://www.w4ava.org/training.htm

• Class 1 - Intro to Emergency Communications. Class 1 Materials: PDF -- PowerPoint® -- MP3
• Class 2 - Operating Procedures for Voice Nets. Class 2 Materials: PDF -- PowerPoint®
• Class 3 - Message Handling. Class 3 Materials: PDF -- PowerPoint® -- WAV
• Class 4 - Personal Preparedness and Equipment Class 4 Materials: PDF -- PowerPoint®
• Class 5 - RACES Functions in the EOC. Class 5 Materials: PDF -- PowerPoint®


Since 9/11 as part of our annual recertification process we have been conducting a workshop entitles "Disaster Survival Skills in the Urban Environment" The .ppt presentation may be downloaded at following link: http://www.w4ava.org/races/KKauxcomm33.htm

Thanks, This looks more like what is going on. I knew there was coordination but was a little surprised by the formality of the recruitment
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Old 05-26-2017, 08:45 PM
Hunter Don Hunter Don is offline
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Default Question for the licensed HAMs

Ares cooperation is not personal it is official business, it is typically a county endorsed activity. Our local meetings are in the county dispatch office
Did you recently obtain your license?
The letter may simply be coincidental to your SS app, I know when I became licensed I received mail other entities
Aside from that, as an NCO, I'm pretty sure you're aware that consists of more than a single rank, so not sure why the skepticism of being asked what exact rank

Outpost, that's great that your group does what it does and offers what it does


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Old 05-26-2017, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter Don View Post
Ares cooperation is not personal, it is typically a county endorsed activity
Did you recently obtain your license?
The letter may simply be coincidental to your SS app, I know when I became licensed I received mail other entities


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Nope, been a General for years and on SS for almost a year. I have been contacted in the past back when I first got my licenses, so I know the normal drill. this wasn't a normal communication in my mind and out of the blue as I haven't been to any organized HAM activities (even a hamfest) in 3 or 4 years.

I think OUTPOST75 has a pretty good take. Still it seems they are looking to strengthen the EMCOM capabilities in this area for a power down condition. I dont know. I dont personally know the chief, but I know several of the local politicians, so I may just inquire as to the thinking behind this. Who knows, given the "under the radar" attitude of all of us preppers, my entire town may be on these boards



zPS Skepticism over the rank was because it made no difference what rank I had. I wasnt on military retirement.
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Old 05-26-2017, 09:03 PM
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Based on the posts, I guess there is a closer tie between these groups and governments agencies than I thought. Anyway, thanks for the schooling guys.
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Old 05-26-2017, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky1950 View Post
Thanks, This looks more like what is going on. I knew there was coordination but was a little surprised by the formality of the recruitment
Post 9/11 we were playing catch-up and looked to New York OEM, Florida OEM and the State of California Office of Emergency Services and used their frameworks to develop a new model for Arlington County, VA, which was based on well-proven principles from States who had experience in handling multiple large and complex incidents.

Attached a few files of interest which may be helpful.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Appendix_13_EOC_MsgFlowChart.doc (33.0 KB, 154 views)
File Type: doc Appendix_15_TrngActivityAnnualEvaluationV2.1.doc (51.5 KB, 151 views)
File Type: doc TrainingActivityRecord1008.doc (54.0 KB, 154 views)
File Type: doc WhyRACES.doc (33.5 KB, 156 views)
File Type: doc AppendixA_ApplicationForm.doc (56.0 KB, 157 views)
File Type: doc TrainingOverview.doc (54.0 KB, 154 views)
File Type: doc FIND_YOUR_FIRE_STATION_1Dec09.doc (80.0 KB, 149 views)
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Old 05-26-2017, 10:26 PM
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Sky1950 - I wound up doing emergency communications at the County/ State level of O.E.S./ along with the Local RACES and ARES. But it was not thru a letter from a Local Level Official.

I was recruited during my participation in emergency communications during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake in the Bay Area, and was asked to be at the State Level afterwards. I have an Advanced Class License and have been licensed for over 40 years now.

If you joining ARES the training alone would assist in an emergency. Plus you may get a public safety pass to allow you beyond road blocks and such, that will be used for keeping out the general public.

As Outpost75 wrote, they are doing background checks on all RACES and OES members affiliated with most government organizations from what I have observed in the last 20+ years in California. It must even more so at the Federal Level, and I imagine that having a California CCW for over 25+ years allowed me to pass any background checks that they wanted to run...

They have changed the looks of my paperwork, so here is what the old ones looked like that were in my wallet.

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Old 05-27-2017, 10:09 AM
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Some material from our County ACS Manual describes the organizational structure:

Table of Contents

I. Introduction and General Comments p.3

II. Purpose p.4

III. General Instructions to ACS Personnel p.5

IV. Operator Classification Levels p.7

V. Standards of Behavior and Conduct p.9

VI. ACS Organizational Levels p.11

VII. Duties and Responsibilities p.14

VIII. Tasks and Activities p.16

IX. Emergency Support Function 2 – Communications p.17

X. ACS Operations under NIMS p.22

XI. ACS Position Descriptions p.24

XII Activation and Deployment p.30

XIII Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) p.37

XIV ACS Member Actions in Response to An Activation p.38

XV ACS Functions in the Incident Command Post p.40

XVI Tactical Call Sign Use p.42

XVII Demobilization p.44

XVIII Stress Management p.45

XIX Personal Protective Equipment p.46

XX Dismissal of Volunteers p.50

XXI List of Appendices p.51


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL COMMENTS
Arlington, Virginia is an urban county of 26 square miles located directly across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. On January 1, 2006 its estimated population was 200,226. It is among the most culturally diverse, densely populated and highly educated jurisdictions in the country with a population density of 7,761 persons per square mile.
The Arlington County Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) is the designated communications reserve of the Arlington County Office of Emergency Management under Emergency Support Function (ESF) 2 - Communications. Its mission is to provide a variety of professional unpaid [volunteer] skills, including administrative, technical and operational, for emergency tactical, administrative and logistical communications; with served agencies, and participating jurisdictions of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, §44-146.28:1 of the Code of Virginia, within the National Capitol Region, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is provided for by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Part 97, Subpart E of the Commission’s Rules and Regulations, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Civil Preparedness Guide 1-15 and the State and Local Guide State (SLG) 101: Guide for All-Hazard Emergency Operations Planning.

ACS includes the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) and eligible members of Radio Emergency Associated Communication Teams (REACT http://www.reactintl.org/) who have successfully passed Arlington County’s background check, training, equipment, participation and annual evaluation requirements.

ACS coordinates mutual aid communication requests, promotes effective resource management and personnel accountability for amateur radio operators, General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), Business Land-Mobile Radio (LMR) and other FCC licensees and radio services, such as Civil Air Patrol (CAP), and the Military Affiliate Radio Service (MARS) deployed in support of civil defense, disaster response and recovery.

The purpose of ACS is to provide communication support to government during periods of local, regional or national emergencies. ACS personnel are amateurs only in the respect that they may not receive compensation for their contributions. They are, however, professionals in their ability to provide many diverse forms of electronic communications such as voice, digital (Packet, CW, RTTY, radio fax, etc.) and ATV (amateur television) under less than ideal conditions.

Arlington County ACS is composed of FCC licensed amateur radio operators, GMRS, LMR and users of other licensed radio services who have volunteered their capabilities and equipment for use in Arlington County under the ESF-2.



Additionally ACS members have:

1) Completed an online application and written County background check form
2) Registered with the Arlington County Office of Emergency Management
3) Passed a character background check conducted by the Arlington Sheriff’s Department;
4) Completed the Arlington County RACES Basic Operator course; and
5) Been issued photo identification cards by the Office of Emergency Management.

The Arlington County ACS program is administered by the County Office of Emergency Management. The ACS unit is directed by the ESF-2 Communications Section Head (Radio Officer), who is the “Department of Technology Services (ESF Coordinator).

ACS functions under the direction of the Radio Officer and designated Group and Division leaders who serve as Assistant Radio Officers (ARO) who perform unit command and line staff functions when activated under the National Incident Management System.


II. Purpose

The Arlington County ACS primary function is to provide supplemental communication assistance to agencies of Arlington County government in the event of a disaster, emergency or other planned or unplanned event.

ACS provides essential personnel and equipment resources to augment served agency and public safety communications. Participants may be used at any time, from one to any number as may be appropriate. No declaration of an emergency is required. However, the use of the FCC Amateur Radio service frequencies is limited to training and emergency communications as permitted in the FCC regulations Part 97.

Communications may be passed through: 1) Properly licensed amateur radio or 2) General Mobile Radio Service operators using; either personally owned or County provided amateur or FCC Type Accepted GMRS equipment; (as appropriate to the users (ham rigs don’t have to be type accepted by CFR 47) class of license), or by ACS radio operators who have been qualified by served agencies for assignment to designated County facilities, to operate FCC Type Accepted local government or public safety radio on authorized frequencies.


III. GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS TO ACS PERSONNEL

1. ACS is a single communications resource whose chain of command is based on the National Incident Management System (NIMS) organization, which shall be followed at all times. Questions of management should be made in writing when possible. Unit assignments are made to support incident action plans. Personnel may be rotated in and out of specific team positions, as determined by the needs of the incident.

2. There are four resource type classifications of ACS teams:

a. Type IV teams serve as independent communications relay points.
b. Type III teams support local operations within Arlington County only.
c. Type II teams support regional incident operations within the National Capitol Region under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) with multiple agencies.
d. Type I teams, (if formed) would support operations during Incidents of National Significance requiring prolonged, sustained, incident management operations and support activities with multiple agencies and jurisdictions

3. Activation of ACS personnel may be made only by the Radio Officer or his/her designee (after hours by the ECC Uniformed Fire Officer, upon request by Incident Commanders or Police Watch Commanders).

4. ACS personnel are unpaid professional staff, who function at the direction of the Radio Officer directly or through authorized instructions of unit leaders or the net control station.

5. ACS personnel must abide by applicable FCC regulations at all times when operating on Local Government, Public Safety, Commercial or Amateur radio systems.

6. ACS personnel are encouraged to participate in all available training and information functions. Team member performance is measured against a minimum annual participation standard of twenty (20) activity points annually. Points are awarded for a variety of activities and certified by the agency group or neighborhood division unit leader, trainer, agency official, or the RACES Radio Officer. (Refer to Annual Performance Rating Appendix 15)





7. Initial probationary reviews for newly enrolled members are conducted after six months, for the prior half year. The initial six-month review is for benchmarking purposes only and is without penalty. All ACS personnel receive an annual evaluation in January.

8. Minimum ACS training and participation requirements for the first year are listed in the Trainee and Operator Type IV classification descriptions (refer to next page).

9. Personnel not participating in organized training and exercises are considered “untrained” and are not deployable in emergencies. Untrained personnel cannot move up from a “trainee” /TANGO to the Operator Type IV classification.

10. Inactive personnel, who fail to attain 20 activity points in the Annual Performance rating, regardless of previous training or experience, revert to Type IV Operator classification. Inactive personnel may not serve as Unit Leaders or be deployed on solo assignments, but only as a working member of a Type IV team, supervised by a Unit Leader Type IV.(Refer to ACS Resource Type Classification Table, Appendix 16)

11. ACS personnel are expected to maintain a minimum level of family and personnel preparedness. This is necessary to ensure that their families are self-reliant and able to sustain themselves while the member is activated. (Refer to the web site http://www.makeaplan.org/ )

12. When activated, ACS personnel are expected to provide their own radio equipment, supplies, suitable outdoor clothing, food, water and shelter to sustain operations away from their vehicle for a 12 hour operational period.

13. When deployed outside Arlington County, personnel should prepare a 72-hour Annex to enable units to operate independently, until relief operators and supplies arrive, to minimize the demand placed upon limited local resources.

14. Served agencies shall provide assigned ACS personnel with essential personal protective equipment, emergency medical treatment, workman’s compensation insurance and access to off-duty rest and shelter areas for meals, sleep, hygiene and sanitation to the same extent as provided for paid staff.

15. Field replenishment of expendable supplies, food and water for on-duty ACS personnel performing active functions shall be provided to the same extent as for paid staff.


ACS Operator And Unit Leader Classification Levels

There are five ACS Operator and Unit Leader Classification levels:

1. “Trainee” /T (voiced as “stroke Tango”) An enrolled ACS member, who has passed the background check, has been issued a local ID card, but who has not yet passed the Basic Operator Course exam, or equipment inspection for either local or mutual aid deployments. “/Tangos” are not deployable in declared emergencies, but are encouraged to participate in all training and exercises, as Type IV reserve personnel being assigned to a Type IV team under training supervision of a qualified Operator Type IV.

2. OPERATOR TYPE IV A Trainee who has passed the Basic Operator Course examination, has been equipment certified for both local and mutual aid deployments, and is qualified to serve as a radio operator on a 3-person Type IV team for local deployment (2 Type IV portable/mobile UHF/VHF voice operators and 1 unit leader who is an Operator Type III assigned in a training capacity as a Unit leader. Requirements for a Trainee to become fully qualified as an Operator Type IV, able to undertake solo assignments or to supervise other trainees are:

a) Pass the Arlington ACS-RACES Basic Operator Course Exam with a minimum score of 75%
b) Attain 12 activity points or more during the six-month probationary Performance Rating.
c) Completion of FEMA IS-100 and IS-700 Independent Study
d) Participate in the Arlington County ACS-RACES net at least once monthly
e) Serve as net control of the Arlington County ACS-RACES Net at least once annually
f) Participate in at least one Local deployment or graded exercise, scoring 20 points each on the Vehicle and Personal Equipment Checklists for Local Deployment, with a satisfactory performance rating.
g) Participate in a Mutual Aid deployment or graded exercise, scoring 20 points on the Vehicle Equipment Checklist for Mutual Aid Deployments with a satisfactory performance rating.
h) Participate in at least 50% of unit meetings, organized training and preparedness activities.

3. OPERATOR TYPE III / (Unit Leader Type IV) May be deployed under EMAC anywhere in the National Capitol Region or the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition to Type IV Operator requirements, maintains a higher state of readiness and a 24-hour pack for mutual aid deployment at all times, has been a conditional Type III team member in a training capacity for six months, had a satisfactory evaluation for either an actual Level III activation or a graded full-scale exercise, attended Health &Safety Awareness, Packet and FM Simplex workshops, may be assigned either as a Unit Leader on a 3-person Type IV Team or as a technical specialist based on knowledge, skill, ability, training or experience. Additional training proposed above Type IV requirements for an Operator Type IV to upgrade to a Type III (within two years) is:

a) Health & Safety Awareness for Disaster Workers – VARACES internet class+ local test; plus Metro Transit System Safety module)
b) Packet Operator Workshop – live workshop +exercise
c) FM Simplex Operating Workshop – live workshop +exercise
d) HF NVIS Operating Workshop VARACES internet class, +live workshop /exercise
e) IS-22 Are You Ready – Introduction to Individual Preparedness EMI cert
f) ICS 200 for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents – EMI cert.

4. UNIT LEADER – Type III – a Type Operator III who has also completed FEMA basic leadership training, IS courses 240, 241, and 242 and has been a Unit Leader Type IV for six months with satisfactory performance ratings. Qualified to serve as a Unit Leader of a 4 person Type III Strike team (2 VHF/UHF portable mobile voice operators, 1 portable/mobile VHF/UHF digital operator, 1 unit leader, + roaming technical specialist on call). An Operator Type III who is assigned in a training capacity as a unit leader is expected to complete the leadership syllabus within the first year, and complete two additional courses from the following list during each year thereafter.

a) IS-120, An Orientation to Community Disaster Exercises
b) IS-230 Principles of Emergency Management
c) IS-240 Leadership & Influence
d) IS-241 Decision Making & Problem Solving
e) IS-242 Effective Communication
f) IS-235 Emergency Planning
g) IS-800 – Introduction to the National Response Plan

5. UNIT LEADER – Type II is fully qualified as an Operator Type III and has had at least six months year's experience as a Unit Leader Type III with satisfactory performance ratings, having completed at IS 240, 241 and 242 plus at least four IS Courses from either the Unit Leader Type III or the Unit Leader Type II continuing education lists. A Unit Leader Type III is qualified for assignment as an Assistant Radio Officer (ARO) either as a Group Leader who serves as an alternate point of contact for a served agency; or as a Division Leader for a geographic area, assigned under Incident Actions Plans. Type II Unit Leaders are able to organize, plan and execute a deployment of a 4 person Type II Strike Team (1 VHF/UHF mobile/portable voice; 1 VHF/UHF mobile/portable voice/digital operator, 1 portable/mobile VHF /HF-SSB operator, 1 unit leader, plus technical specialist on call), working directly as the ACS representative to a served agency in an NIMS environment. Unit Leaders Type II are expected to complete all FEMA IS courses on the Unit Leader Type III list, plus three of the following within two years of appointment, and are expected to complete at least one additional IS course annually thereafter:

a) IS-139 Exercise Design
b) IS-271 Anticipating Hazardous Weather & Community Risk
c) IS-275 EOC Role in Community Preparedness, Response, and Recovery
d) IS-288 Role of Voluntary Agencies in Emergency Management
e) IS-324 Community Hurricane Preparedness
f) IS-546 Continuity of Operations (COOP) Awareness
g) IS-547 Introduction to Continuity of Operations (COOP)



IV. Standards of Behavior and Conduct

ACS personnel shall maintain the highest standards, of performance and behavior. As a volunteer organization entrusted to serve Arlington County during emergencies ACS is working with professionals, who expect professionalism in return. Recognize that amateur radio operators are individuals, but those who make a personal commitment to serve Commonwealth and community are part of a team which has been formed for the purpose of executing the County’s Emergency Plans, in accordance with policies, procedures and rules. ACS members are expected to follow the following standards:

1. ACS members must have current issued identification badges and FCC license copy in their possession always, and display County photo ID prominently while on activation. Appropriate identification is required to ensure that volunteers are not mistaken by citizens or non-governmental organizations as professional responders. This could result in personnel being inappropriately assigned non-communication tasks which exceed their legal authority, training or ability.

2. All personnel shall demonstrate a positive and enthusiastic image of Arlington County and the ACS program. ACS personnel should always present a clean, well-groomed, neat, utilitarian and professional appearance which builds confidence in the minds of agencies and organizations we support.

3. All communications and statements made during an operation are to be treated as strictly confidential. Personnel will make no statements or provide information to the media or any non-departmental personnel at any time. Inquiries by the media must be directed to the agency Public Information Officer (PIO).

4. Personnel should avoid distasteful or controversial public discussions, which may reflect negatively on the Arlington County ACS organization. Any such issues that do arise should be forwarded to the Unit Leader and up the chain of command to the Radio Officer.

5. Personnel shall wear clean civilian work clothing with forest green ball cap and outer garment bearing the ACS patch and County-issued photo ID. Wearing of distinctive items of military or other uniform apparel or insignia not approved by the Radio Officer is prohibited.

6. Personnel shall not consume alcoholic beverages or controlled substances while on activation. Any member found under the influence of any intoxicant while activated will be removed from the scene and have his/her team membership immediately terminated.

7. Personnel shall not carry firearms during exercises or when activated, regardless of permit status, except for sworn law enforcement officers, required by their supervising authority to be armed when off-duty.

8. Personnel should always operate in a safe manner. If you are asked to do something that you consider unsafe, you have the right to refuse and to notify the incident Safety Officer.



9. All ACS personnel are expected to maintain at minimum portable communications and always carry personal equipment for a 12-hour operational period. (Refer to Vehicle Checklist – Local Deployment – Appendix 1 and Personal Equipment Checklist for 12-Hour Operational Period – Urban Environment – Appendix 3)

10. Operators Type III shall also have their vehicles equipped with a 25-watt VHF or dual-band mobile radio (Refer to Vehicle Checklist – EMAC Deployment Appendix 2) and always carry a 24-hour pack and work clothing with them. (Refer to 24-hour pack checklist – Appendix 4 for suggested items).

11. Station identification by both net control and field stations shall be kept to the minimum required by FCC regulations.

12. Minimum necessary transmitter power should be used to conserve batteries and prevent interference to other nearby stations.

13. There is to be no unnecessary conversation or chatter during ACS operations

14. Personnel provide, use and maintain their own personal equipment during ACS operations, unless operating at a designated equipped local government station.

15. At all times operations will be conducted in a safe manner.

16. ACS personnel deployed on activation will be required to maintain and complete an ICS 214 form for all shifts worked.
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Old 05-27-2017, 10:20 AM
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Continued:

V. ACS ORGANIZATIONAL LEVELS

Personnel of the Arlington County ACS unit form the trained emergency communications reserve serving public safety agencies of Arlington County. These volunteers provide their time, training, expertise, and equipment to enhance the overall communications capability of the National Capitol Region

Persons meeting the following conditions are no longer considered ACS members:

1. Any individual who is deceased
2. Any individual who has resigned from the organization.
3. Any individual who was terminated from the organization.
4. Any individual who can no longer participate in organization activities.

Former ACS members may be reinstated into the organization provided they were released in good standing and subject to approval. After one year, standard application requirements and procedures will apply.

Operator Type IV Reserve is the basic status for all enrolled ACS personnel who have completed Basic Operator training and is defined by the following conditions:

1. All ACS members (including Trainees) who possess active member status routinely have this minimum level position unless a higher classification is indicated on the ID.

2. Basic requirements after application approval are to attend an Orientation (Introduction to Emergency Communications Basic Operator Course Unit 1) and to be assigned either to an agency working Group or to a neighborhood Division, (determined by home or work location within or nearest to Arlington County, and identified by the nearest fire station number under the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Mutual Aid dispatching system).

3. Trainees report to Unit leaders for indoctrination, in which they will be assigned a training mentor and “buddy” to deploy with, after which they will attend local training sessions and be available, to assist with local non-emergency events.

4. Operator Type IV Reserves may include members of other EmCom organizations such as ARES, REACT, Skywarn, CERT, Neighborhood Watch, radio dispatched commercial vehicles and General Mobile Radio Service groups whose members have passed the local background check, completed the Basic Operator Course, passed the exam and have been issued a County ID card.

5. Operator Type IV Reserves may be called upon routinely to participate in local community preparedness, mitigation and unit training events of a non-emergency nature.
6. During a declared Emergency Type IV Reserves, may be activated for assignment to work in local Type IV teams under the supervision of a Unit Leader.

7. Type IV Reserves are expected to be able to prepare for local deployments only, within 24 hours notice. Most such portable, mobile or fixed location assignments will require TWO operators, one for the radio and another person to log, changing off periodically. Type IV reserves should be teamed with more experienced Type III operators whenever possible.

8. Inactive members attaining less than 20 annual activity points may remain in Type IV Reserve status for three years, after which they are removed from the personnel roster unless they become more active and complete Basic Operator Course refresher training to remain eligible.

Operator Type III Ready Reserve is defined by the following conditions.

1. Must be willing to travel to any location within the Virginia Emergency Management Assistance Compact in response to emergencies.

2. Requires training which prepares the individual for statewide mutual aid in various capacities, which is specialized and independent of any local training.

3. Are considered trained communicators in all areas and on various types of VHF and UHF FM and either AX.25 FM digital (Amateur Technician license) or HF-SSB (General license) equipment, and the public safety trunking radio system.

4. Are encouraged to serve temporarily in Type III Unit Leader positions as a training and leadership opportunities and upon satisfactory performance ratings may be selected to train to become Type II Unit Leaders after obtaining sufficient experience and completion of local government and / or FEMA leadership and a management training.

5. May remain at Type III Ready Reserve level as long as they stay active and proficient in their training and involvement with incidents.

6. Are required to participate in 70% of activities in their assigned Division or Group.

7. Operator Type III – Ready Reserves are Strike Team members expected to be “ready to go,” anywhere, in the National Capitol Region within 8 hours, to report for the next operational period relieving the Type II Active Reserve shift which has been on duty from the onset of the incident.




Strike Team Type II - Active Reserve is defined by the following conditions.

1. Are considered highly trained individuals in their specialty and meet or surpass the requirements for this level of participation.

2. Must be willing to travel to any Virginia location within the Virginia Emergency Management Assistance Compact in response to emergencies.

3. May be appointed as Division or Group Leaders after completion of Management Training.

4. May be selected as Strike Team Leaders Type II after receiving proper training and approval in specific specialty fields, such as net control, network troubleshooting and repair, HF-NVIS operations, staging, logistics and transportation, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) coordination, damage assessment, Emergency Communications Center (ECC) or other training needs identified by the Office of Emergency Management.

5. Are strongly encouraged to participate in all activities of their assigned Divisions or Sections.

6. Strike Team Type II Active Reserves - Are expected to activate and deploy with their teams during the first operational period, immediately upon notification with a desired response time of 4 hours to any location within the National Capitol Region.

7. Strike Teams are comprised of Type III Operators and led by a Unit Leader Type II. Members have met and maintain all requirements of previous Levels and are assigned to specific units after receiving training specific to the type of specialty assigned, i.e. Logistics, Digital, Imagery, HF-NVIS, etc.

8. Strike Team members must participate in 70 percent of activities of their assigned Groups or Divisions.

9. Strike Teams fall into three categories:

A Comm Support Unit: - staff the Department of Technology Services Emergency Technology Support Unit (ETSU). These unit members are responsible for understanding all aspects of the vehicle and must be prepared to deploy within 1 hour notice with the vehicle. They must have a full and complete knowledge of the vehicle, all of its components and equipment, and be able to handle any communications problems that might arise in the field.

B EOC Unit - EOC Support members are responsible for understanding all aspects of the County Emergency Operations Center and must be prepared to deploy to the EOC within an hour when activated. They must have a full and complete knowledge of the EOC, all of its components and equipment, and be able to handle any communications problems that might arise at the EOC.

C . EMAC Support Unit – A Type II Mutual Aid Communications strike team consisting of three Operators Type III, equipped with mobile and portable VHF-FM digital, mobile and portable VHF and UHF FM voice radio, mobile and portable HF-SSB radio, supervised by a Unit Leader Type II equipped with mobile and portable VHF and UHF FM voice radio and either a portable public safety radio, Nextel or cellular telephone, plus an Operator Type III network specialist with portable and mobile VHF and UHF voice radio and either Nextel or cellular telephone, on call.
EMAC Support Unit must be prepared to deploy anywhere statewide and operate independently for 72 hours until arrival of a relief team. EMAC units must have a full and complete knowledge of the National Incident Management System, EOC operations and the NIMS-EOC interface which occurs between operational units in the field, incident command posts, and area command.

VII DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

1. The Office of Emergency Management OEM) appoints the Radio Officer (RO), who in turn appoints his/her staff. The RO reports directly to the OEM Director and is responsible to promote the directives of the Office of Emergency Management throughout the organization.

2. RO Assignments to Management Positions: The Radio Officer or his/her designee shall make appointments to fill open positions, from the entire pool of qualified Type III and Type II personnel. Appointments shall be based on the individual’s demonstrated abilities and desire to serve the organization, past level of participation, qualifications and the general needs of the organization. Current management personnel do not necessarily move to the next highest position available. Management personnel will be required to undergo a two-year peer review. This allows for a general overview and assessment of their performance to date.

3. Radio Officer (RO) - Is a Unit Leader Type II who is responsible for implementing the policies and procedures of the Arlington County ACS organization and to insure the proper functioning of all positions, the Chain of Command and operations of the organization. The RO is the controlling supervisor in charge of the operations of all ACS. activities, activations and events, and is the County’s principal point of contact for all matters relating to emergency communications activities, including radio communications or allied resources.

4. Assistant Radio Officer for Operations and Planning (OPS) is a Unit Leader Type II who is second in command of the organization. This person performs all duties of the RO, in his/her absence, at the direction of the Radio Officer or designee. When ACS is not activated the OPS officer is responsible for preparedness planning, coordination of planned local, EMAC and regional events, implementation of Standard Operating Guides, and development of job aids, and procedure lists. When ACS is activated the OPS Officer is responsible for developing ACS Unit Communications plans and frequency assignments as needed to manage communications requested under incident action plans. The OPS Officer interfaces directly with the served agencies, the RO, Group and Division Leaders.

5. Assistant Radio Officer for Logistics (LOG) is a Unit Leader Type III and is third in command of the ACS organization. When ACS is not activated is responsible for communications infrastructure development, preparedness and mitigation planning. When activated the LOG Officer is responsible for implementing procedures for resource management and accountability, including unit alerting and mobilization, supply, team assignments, and demobilization. When activated the LOG Radio Officer may serve in rotating assignments as a shift relief for the OPS Officer. When not activated LOG oversees all committees and support units, such as imaging-ATV, training AV support, repeater support, and Digital operations.

6. Assistant Radio Officer for Administration (ADMIN) is a Unit Leader Type III responsible for ongoing staffing of personnel, maintaining all personnel records, and all Historical documentation in addition to overall Human Relations activities. ADMIN also coordinates long-term activations, event staffing and personnel requests by other units.

7. Communications Group Leader (COML) is a Unit Leader Type III responsible for the operation, maintenance and deployment of the Department of Technology Services Emergency Technology Support Unit) mobile communications vehicle. (ETSU) COML is also responsible for the training and staffing of ETSU on initial deployment.

VIII. Tasks and Activities

There are a number of tasks that ACS may be asked to do in the course of a mission. The most common are:

1. Portable Station: Is an Operator Type IV assigned in a solo assignment of a tactical nature. This usually involves carrying a VHF, UHF or dual-band portable radio and walking around. You may assist in damage assessment, neighborhood patrol, securing a foot perimeter on a SAR mission, observation, weather spotting, and other activities that require being on foot. Your gear should be carried so that you are self-contained for 12 hours - including food, water, and battery power. The standard of service expected is the ability to maintain communications (at a 4:1 Rx to Tx ratio) for a 12-hour operational period without re-supply from your vehicle.

2. Shadow Station: This is a specialized form of Operator Type IV “Portable” (or occasionally Mobile) assignment assigned to “shadow” (stay close to) an official or NIMS Command Staff person, to ensure that they have “instant and continuously ready” access to radio communications. This function is performed in exactly the same manner of a radio operator in an infantry rifle platoon or company. When the official being shadowed needs to make or receive a call, the Operator must be “right there, right now” to hand him/her the radio or microphone.

3. Mobile Station: Is a Mutual Aid Qualified Operator Type III working from a vehicle, and able to drive and perform a number of tactical or logistic functions. This may include neighborhood patrol, wide-area damage reports, storm tracking, personnel, equipment and supply transport, and dispatch runners which require the use of Mobile Stations. This is usually a two-person team, quite often an Operator Type III paired with a Type IV with one person driving and operating the radio and the other navigating, spotting and logging all traffic.

4. Relay Station: This is an experienced Operator Type III working a combination of Fixed and Mobile, always teamed with a second person who may be an Operator Type IV, with one operator handling the radio and driving and the other logging all traffic. In the event of repeater loss or failure, drive to a designated location, establish an operational position and relay traffic assigned to you. The relay may be performed on two or more frequencies, possibly requiring cross-band or cross mode operation, and may require setup of larger antennas than can be successfully supported by a vehicle in motion, thus making the Relay Station more demanding of equipment inventory and operating expertise than other assignments.

5. Fixed Station: Operators must be prepared to operate a fixed station in any of a number of scenarios, such as, ground search and rescue, mass casualty, evacuation coordination, debris clearance and wildfire suppression. ACS may be expected to operate from a casualty collection point, staging area, equipment / supply depot, shelter site, Incident Command Post, police, fire station, hospital or temporary EOC. There may already be a pre-positioned antenna with coax terminating in a designated operator position with a desk, checklists and operating aids, in which you simply need to bring in and connect your equipment. In other cases the ACS operator must begin from a “cold start” and provide all equipment being used. An important part of a Fixed Station assignment is the ability to set up, trouble-shoot, test, maintain and take down that equipment. This is a two-person assignment, in which one may be an Operator Type IV, with one person handling the radio and the other logging all traffic. In many cases the Group or Division Unit Leader (GL or DL) and/or the NIMS Communication Unit Leader (COML) will be a third person on the team (Unit Leader Type III).
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Old 05-27-2017, 07:00 PM
Brettny Brettny is offline
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I would assume your not a fireman? Sounds like the government is putting 2 and 2 together. Just imagine what the criminals are doing with all that info on the fcc website. Im going to get a PO box next week.
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:55 AM
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Our local ARES is in bed with county government. I was a guest at one of their meetings and introduced myself as a member of AmRRON. One of their little snits then proceeded to warn his members to be careful communicating with AmRRON members because they were "anti-government" and "prepper types". His comments went unchallenged by ARES representatives.

My advice is to join an AmRRON group or start your own.
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:28 AM
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ARES and RACES are managed in numerous ways. And from county to county they can differ wildly. The county I'm in is like Jackwagon and Jerkules running the organization. One county up it's pretty decent and more privately run. Over to the side it's controlled (tightly) by the EMA and local office of Homeland Security. To each it's own.

I prefer to stay away from these "organizations" and ham clubs as it seems the politics and people wanting to be king takes precedent over actual public service. Also, I'm not one to run around with stickers on my truck, or wearing the shirts and hats to brag. I prefer calmly and quietly helping.

Some groups actively scour public records. I was surprised a few years back when I renewed my ticket to get an invitation to join a club, and ARES. I assume they got my info from FCC public records. And somehow a friend who retired from the navy, from communications, got a flier from a club for a "cram session" where they take you in at 8AM on a Saturday, and you walk out with a Tech+ qualification later in the afternoon. How they got his name is a mystery.
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:28 AM
Logit Logit is offline
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Gee ... I feel neglected and dejected now. I've never been asked to join ARES. But then, I've never heard of anyone else being asked either. Been licensed for 52 years.

Hmmmm ....
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Old 05-28-2017, 01:57 PM
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Sounds to me like someone was bored, pulled up qrz grid locator and noticed a ham and proceeded to send a letter. In any case you should check it out in person and see what kind of vibe you get from the group. It is absolutely worthwhile IF you have a group that is focused on the mission and not the name tags, and actually show up to train.

Hit or miss these days... Wish my county had anything ham related going on. We are lucky to have 4 people check into the local skywarn any given week.
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Old 05-28-2017, 02:21 PM
Redlineshooter Redlineshooter is offline
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sound's like a ****ing contest between local state and federal orgs with military style doctrine work with various orgs..

if message goes out, the BS of 8 hours is null in void, you be enroute within 30,mins of the call being posted having atleast 2 teams on route to survey and plan an attack..

if they are going to make you resit or even test for this stuff they better be prepared to pay you an income, because i doubt testing peeps for this stuff ain't going to be cheap.....
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:09 PM
Hunter Don Hunter Don is offline
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I don't particularly care for my local ares, I'm a member but don't participate with them. The 'leaders' do the training with agencies and don't offer it to any of the members. Ive shown up for some agency training and they have actually tried to tell me to leave because they didn't invit me. They quickly learned I don't answer to them. For the emergency response online training I've taken most of it for all that as part of Red Cross, Ares doesn't even know I've taken the training, they haven't bothered to ask. Just like they really didn't bother to pay attention to what I do for a living. I do participate more in another group


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Old 05-28-2017, 03:19 PM
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RACES has to be "activated" by some "authority"...
ARES can/will "self-activate" according to need....

In today's world - since 9/11 - with all these crazies running around....our local/county/state EOC's must "screen" those that will be admitted to their spaces and become privy to operational details in any activations. Without this level of "clearance", our govt could be sued for disclosure alone in many cases. In this sue-happy world we are in now, they have to do this IF they want to make use of a comm's resource for free.

I, for one, spent my time and did my duty in the past! With today's Govt's being bent to the left - and, being "grown" in the mindset of "taking over and controlling" all that happens - ie: dictating from on-high.....I choose to NOT play their games any longer. Besides, I don't see such structures of power surviving for very long come SHTF anyway!

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