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by Cary Mangum, W6WWW

You want to help as an Amateur Radio operator in an emergency. That's great. Sometimes that help is needed, sometimes not.

Here's a typical comparison:

It IS needed if you:

1. know/are trained in the ICS
2. know and understand Prowords
3. understand/use tactical calls
4. are service-to-others oriented
5. know tactical/FCC identification
6. are talented net control operator
7. are experienced traffic handler
8. can take directions amiably
9. can work with others under stress
10. willing to go where assigned
11. willing to respond as called
12. willing to learn/change

It is NOT needed if you:

1. don't know Incident Command System
2. didn't learn the Prowords
3. don't like or use tactical calls
4. are ego driven w/your own agenda
5. overly & unnecessarily identify
6. have no net operating experience
7. don't like to handle traffic
8. resist direction / insist your way
9. have difficulty working w/others
10. don't want to leave home
11. only serve at your convenience
12. not willing to learn and change

Obviously, there can be exceptions. An example is #9 above. A hermit, skilled in other areas, might be an excellent remote relay station operator if there are no others with whom he might have difficulty with at his location. There are many other areas of comparison, but the above is worth considering in relation to your ideas of emergency communications.

Cary Mangum, W6WWW.

Archives of California RACES Bulletins are available via anonymous ftp at

The Home Page for the State of California Governor's Office of Emergency Services contains other information about emergency response in California and elsewhere.


 ARES® (Amateur Radio Emergency Service®) is a program of the American Radio Relay League
Copyright © 2008 - Lake County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service, Inc.
 Most recent revision 03/20/08