Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Dress for Public Service Success

Years ago I was a EMT-I for a local Emergency Medical Service company. Seeing I held a full time job elsewhere my "runs" consisted of from 1600-0600 hours mainly....with the bulk seemingly in the "0-dark thirty" time frame which entailed getting out of bed and throwing on whatever was handy. This was before the era of actually having full time paid techs on site 24/7. Well I tried to at least throw on my EMS t-shirt and wear my coat the EMS provider gave me to ID myself when arriving on scene. I had a couple of partners that would show up, well, dressed with what ever was on the floor attire. The service owner emphasized the fact that professionalism was also looking the part because the patients felt better when someone at least looking like they know what they were doing showed up at 0245 hours after driving 35 minutes code 3 for their intestinal cramps. After a time we were provided with full uniforms and it did in fact make a difference when we arrived on scene as to how we were accepted by bot the patients, their families and at accidents and crime scenes the governing authorities on site. I saw this article and agree 100% with the author.
 At the very minimum dress neatly!
When responding look like a responder, not a victim!
Image result for emcomm radio operator attire
Visiting this year's ARRL New England Convention in Boxboro, Massachusetts, I was delightfully surprised at the level of care most attendees, and in particular exhibitors, speakers and volunteers, exercised in their choice of attire. Snazzy uniform shirts worn by vendors were in abundance. Business attire infused the exhibit hall. It was as if I were attending a professional conference.
There I met new ARRL CEO, Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, whose sharp business attire transmitted an easy-on-the-eyes message, one that clearly respected the first impressions of his constituents. Among the subjects discussed was my contention that our community must take better care to present ourselves as organized professionals when serving in a public service role, most especially in how we look.
As a leader of public service teams, and an advocate for better leadership, innovation and national unity in our public service communications role, I make sure every volunteer has the opportunity and support that encourages their personal success. Not only are my teams well trained and fully integrated into the organization or agency we serve, they also look (and smell) good. That's because expectations for attire are part of the pre-event preparations. I urge volunteers at some events to be "smartly dressed with a clean white shirt and blue uniform pants, or equivalent." A volunteer T-shirt is sometimes needed as an added bit of identification and to unify us as members of a larger team, so I request that we "wear the supplied volunteer T-shirt in combination with uniform or EMT cargo pants to present a professional appearance." I also caution that we must not be confused with public safety or law enforcement personnel. "Professional" does not mean that we have license to impersonate, however innocent our first intention!
I have first-hand experience to suggest that those who present themselves professionally are invited back for the next event service opportunity. While some of us grumble about how disorganized the organization we're serving may be -- how little they understand about the value of our "superior" communications service -- we are ultimately responsible for an invitation back to a repeat performance. So what happens when we're not? Some of us lean upon that tired "when all else fails" excuse: "When all else fails you'll call upon us, and you won't care how we look." Weak. Irrelevant. Arrogant. Please throw those rags in the laundry (or incinerator) and come back civilized. This is not a mud wrestling match.
At each public service event I've had the privilege and fun to work as a communications volunteer, the event organizers, public safety, vendors, and participants arrive dressed for the occasion. We are not exempt. If your leadership fails to set a minimum standard, that doesn't mean you can't arrive on time and ready to go with a professional, smart, confidence-inspiring appearance. You'll look good, feel great, and be amazed how receptive your team mates, the organizers, participants and the public will be when you dress for public service success. -- Mark Richards, K1MGY, Littleton, Massachusetts [Richards is a member of the Boston Athletic Association's Boston Marathon Communications Committee, with an extensive history of leadership in numerous public event communications efforts. Richards is a frequent contributor to the ARRL ARES E-Letter. -- ed.]

Monday, October 3, 2016

Hancock County EMCOMM Meeting

Image result for hancock county emcomm
Hancock County EMCOMM will be meeting tomorrow, October 4th at 6 PM at Meadow View Apartments Phase 4 Community Room, 25 Tweedie Lane, Ellsworth. Anyone interested in emergency communications is welcome to attend. FCC licensed Amateur Radio Operators are urged to attend and join EMCOMM if able. From local public events to disaster comms, EMCOMM groups are able to help in communications situations. Come see what its all about!

Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Watch Net Now Active as Hurricane Matthew Targets Jamaica, Haiti, Eastern Cuba
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has been active since 1400 UTC on October 2, as Hurricane Matthew — a dangerous Category 4 storm — threatens Jamaica, Haiti, and eastern Cuba. The storm could affect the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and possibly the Eastern US Seaboard. As of 2100 UTC, Matthew was some 320 miles south-southwest of Port au Prince, Haiti, and about 270 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, boasting maximum sustained winds of 145 MPH. The storm is moving to the northwest at 5 MPH. On its current trajectory, Matthew could make landfall in Jamaica, Haiti, and the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas. A hurricane watch is in effect for those areas. The HWN activated on 14.325 MHz, and will operate on that frequency and on 7.268 MHz, its nighttime frequency. If propagation dictates, the net will operate on both frequencies simultaneously.
“Matthew is a very large and dangerous hurricane. It is forecast to produce total rain accumulations of 15 to 25 inches over southern Haiti, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 40 inches,” said HWN Manager Bobby Graves. He thinks it’s possible that parts of Jamaica Haiti could begin losing power soon.
“Matthew is forecast to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches over eastern Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and eastern Cuba, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches. This rainfall will produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides,” he said.
Graves points out that the HWN does not handle health-and-welfare traffic. “For those seeking to pass health and welfare traffic, we will respectfully defer to the SATERN Net,” he said. “It is better equipped and trained for this type of traffic.” When active, the SATERN Net operates on 14.265 MHz.
Graves requested that stations not check into the HWN unless specifically asked to do so. “We will attempt to handle all communications within the capabilities of our own members,” he said. “When outside assistance is required, we will welcome your help.” He asked all stations to follow the instructions of the net control station.
SATERN will activate to at least a DELTA II (extended monitoring) status immediately after the conclusion of the International SATERN SSB Net on Monday, October 3. This will include continuous monitoring of 14.265 MHz while propagation lasts. SATERN operators also will monitor the HWN as well as the Maritime Mobile Service Net (MMSN) on 14.300 MHz while propagation lasts.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said that Hurricane Matthew is expected to take a turn toward the north tonight. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will approach southwestern Haiti and Jamaica on Monday. Some fluctuation in intensity is possible during the next couple of days, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane into Tuesday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the storm’s center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.