SECTION MANAGER REPORT
Dan Ringer, K8WV
West Virginia Section Manager
** OO (Official Observers) Program Update
Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, will oversee the development and implementation phases of ARRL’s new Volunteer Monitors (VM) program, which will replace the Official Observers (OO) program. Hollingsworth, who once handled Amateur Radio enforcement for the FCC, has stepped down as ARRL Atlantic Division Vice Director to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. The development phase of the program is already under way.
“I am grateful for the Atlantic Division ARRL members supporting me, but I think I can better serve the Atlantic Division and all ARRL divisions by working in the Volunteer Monitors program,” Hollingsworth said in his resignation letter. A new Atlantic Division Vice Director will be appointed.
ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said that Hollingsworth was the ideal person to lead ARRL’s efforts in the development and implementation of this joint program with the FCC.
“I support Riley’s decision to concentrate his efforts on this very valuable project on behalf of the ARRL,” Roderick said.
Approved by the ARRL Board of Directors last July, the Volunteer Monitors will work in cooperation with the FCC. Volunteers trained and vetted by ARRL will monitor the amateur bands for possible instances of misconduct or to recognize exemplary on-air operation. Cases of flagrant violations or noncompliance will be directed to the FCC for action, in accordance with FCC guidelines. The program, which aims to re-energize Amateur Radio enforcement efforts, was proposed by the FCC following the closure of several FCC regional offices and reductions in field staff.
Hollingsworth has identified three phases to the program — development, solicitation and training, and implementation. The development phase will include drafting a mission statement, clearly defining ARRL’s and the FCC’s requirements and needs as part of the program, drafting a Volunteer Manager job description, and developing a training manual for volunteers.
The solicitation and training phase will involve identifying the geographical locations where volunteer monitors will be most needed, soliciting applications, and screening applicants. Current Official Observers will be invited to apply for appointment as Volunteer Monitors (VMs). The ARRL Board has expressed its appreciation to the OOs for their dedicated volunteer service over the years.
Implementation will involve having the volunteers provide field reports, and ARRL staff offering guidance to volunteers to ensure that the information gathered meets FCC requirements. Continuing education will be provided to the volunteers as part of the program.
Hollingsworth has committed to ensure training adequacy for new VMs, to review the quality and utility of Volunteer Monitor submissions to the FCC for enforcement action, and to advocate for rapid disposition of cases appropriately submitted to the FCC.
ARRL officials estimate that it will take 9 – 12 months before the first Volunteer Monitors begin filing reports.
** New Plan Aligns ARES with the Needs of Served Agencies
The new ARES Plan adopted by the ARRL Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting in January represents an effort to provide ARES with a clearly defined mission, goals, and objectives; specific training requirements, and a system for consistent reporting and record-keeping. The Board’s Public Service Enhancement Working Group (PSEWG) spent more than 3 years crafting the ARES Plan which, ARRL officials believe, provides a much-needed update of the program’s role in public service and emergency preparedness in the 21st century. Concerns focused on bringing ARES into alignment with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS), and creating more consistent and standardized ARES training requirements. Given dramatic changes and upgrades in national, regional, and local emergency and disaster response organizations, ARRL faced a major challenge, said ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, who chaired the PSEWG.
“If we didn’t address these issues, such as training standards and organizational management, ARES faced the very real possibility that it would no longer be viewed as a valid and valuable partner in emergency and disaster relief situations,” Williams said.
With input from ARES members and a peer review team, and the assistance of emergency response officials with some partner organizations, the PSEWG came up with a plan that provides guidelines to ensure that ARES remains a service of organized, trained, qualified, and credentialed Amateur Radio volunteers who can provide public service partners with radio communication expertise, capability, and capacity, Williams added.
A drafted ARES Plan was circulated among ARRL Section Managers (SMs) and Section Emergency Coordinators (ECs) to gather feedback. During the comment period from August through October 2018, the PSEWG heard from 55 ARRL Sections, representing 40 states — more than 125 pages of feedback in all. The PSEWG expressed appreciation to all who submitted comments and ideas.
The PSEWG reviewed every comment and suggestion, identifying about a dozen key items commonly cited by those in the Field Organization to improve the plan.
Based on input from ARES participants, the training requirements in the final ARES Plan consist of the free FEMA Professional Development Series. The series comprises these independent study (IS) courses: 120.c, 230.d, 235.c, 240.d, 241.b, 242.b, and 244.b (as they may be amended), as well as the ARRL’s EC-001 and EC-016 emergency communication courses. As part of adopting the ARES Plan, the ARRL Board approved a proposal to make the ARRL EC courses free for ARES members.
The plan highlights some additional training programs that ARES participants are encouraged to consider taking, but that are not required, such as AUXCOMM and training courses like ICS-300 and ICS-400.
The ARES Plan outlines a three-tiered membership structure based on increased responsibility levels and accompanying training requirements. Although the tiers are not a required path, they serve to define three distinct ways to participate in the ARES program; it’s up to the participant to determine his or her level of involvement.
The ARES Plan points out that public service events such as parades and marathons are within the realm of ARES activity and are, in fact, a key part of it, because such events are an integral part of effective training.
In recognizing the local and regional nature of emergency communication needs in disaster response activations, the Plan notes that training requirements are ultimately the responsibility of the Section Manager, with each SM approving training for local ARES teams, as local conditions and needs dictate.
The ARES Plan also highlights the relationship between ARES and the National Traffic System (NTS). The PSEWG indicated that it will continue moving forward with efforts to find ways to refine and strengthen that relationship.
While the intent of the ARES Plan is to align the ARES organizational structure with the NIMS and ICS systems, Williams noted that, within the ARES structure, the Emergency Coordinator (EC) will continue to lead the ARES team locally during an incident, while the District and Section Emergency Coordinators will continue to serve as resources and support for the EC. (The emergency preparedness staff at ARRL is in the process of updating the EC manual.) The ARES Plan stresses that ARES participants are not first responders, and it encourages ARES leaders to develop and grow their group’s partnerships with state emergency management agencies and officials. Williams said the adoption of the ARES Plan is not the end of this process.
“ARES cannot remain stagnant only to be updated once every few generations,” he said. “The ARES Plan, and the ARES program, must be able to evolve.” Williams added that the ARRL Headquarters emergency preparedness staff will review the program annually to ensure its continued relevance.
Please welcome the WV Section’s newest club:
Club Name: Preston County Amateur Radio Club
Meeting location: Preston County Emergency Services Center
Meeting day and time: 2nd Sunday of the month, 1pm
Club email: email@example.com
Are you looking for a club? Contact Spence Graham, WT8WV@arrl,net. He’s the Section Affiliated Club Coordinator (ACC). He’ll hook you up with the club or clubs close to you. If there isn’t one, and you’d like to start one, we can help with that, also. Send a list of the Zip Codes in your area to K8WV@arrl.org, and he’ll get you a list of hams living in those codes. You might be surprised how many there are! Don’t know how to organize a club? We can help with that, too, contact K8WV@arrl.org.
** NEW WEST VIRGINIA HAMS!
As of February 4, 2019
Corey A Stover, KE8LFP, Clear Creek, WV 25044-9606
Bryan M Paddock, KE8LFX, Elkview, WV 25071-9262
Edward C Harper, KE8LGC, Ripley, WV 25271-9376
Edward C Harper, KE8LGB, Ripley, WV 25271-9376
Scott D Miller, KE8LFL, Hedgesville, WV 25427-5677
Robert C Wilson, KE8LHV, Wheeling, WV 26003-5458
Brian A Boyles, KE8LGO, Belington, WV 26250-7214
Kenneth S Jones, KE8LGN, Belington, WV 26250-7748
Spencer Wagner, KE8LFW, Morgantown, WV 26505-7348
Bertalan A Czinege, KE8LFV, Morgantown, WV 26508-9402
Congratulations! Welcome to the greatest hobby on Earth!!
CLUB PRESIDENTS – See someone above from your county? Invite them to a club meeting! Get them on the air and involved! (Addresses can be found at http://www.arrl.org/fcc/search)
** UPCOMING WEST VIRGINIA HAMFESTS
Location: Charleston, WV
Type: ARRL Convention
Sponsor: Charleston Hamfest Committee
05/05/2019 | JCARC Hamfest 2019
Location: Ripley, WV
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Jackson County ARC
08/23/2019 | West Virginia State Convention
Location: Weston, WV
Type: ARRL Convention
Sponsor: West Virginia State Amateur Radio Council
10/12/2019 | Parkersburg, Wood County Hamfest
Location: Mineral Wells, WV
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Wood County Emergency Communications
If your organization is conducting a Hamfest in West Virginia, please be sure to let the League know ASAP. http://www.arrl.org/arrl-sanctioned-events.
** ON THE AIR EVENTS
Get the details for ARRL contests at www.arrl.org/contest-calendar. You can find very detailed information on the current month’s contests in the “Contest Corral column of QST, or at http://contests.arrl.org/
** CLUB PROGRAM?
If you’re planning your club’s program schedule, and would like to have a WV Section ARRL Official present a program, send a request with the necessary date/time information to K8WV@arrl.org. We’ll get something set up!
** AFFILIATED CLUB COORDINATOR REPORT
Beginning in March, access to the FRN data will not be direct; you will have to access through the CORES, commission registration service.
You can go ahead now and set it up. In the end, it will really not be a lot different than it is now, except you can’t go directly to fcc.gov/uls anymore.
To create your CORES id, and associate it with your FRN, take these steps:
Look at the middle box, labeled “Need a Username?” and has a Register button in the middle. Use the Register button.
This basically requires only an email address as your user name, and your full name. I suggest using the same email address as you have for your current FRN access.
An email will be sent to you to confirm your user id. Respond to it.
Then log in again at https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do. this time, select the left box to log in. You should see a list of options on a page: https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userHome.do
Select the first one, Associate Username to FRN Link your registered username to an existing FRN.
It will want to know your FRN. There are other search options you can use to find it. You can also look yourself up on www.qrz.com to find your frn.
Spencer Graham, ACC
** SEC REPORT
ARES Monthly Section Emergency Coordinators Report
- ARRL Section West Virginia
- Month January
- Year 2019
- Total number of ARES members 447
- Number of DECs/ECs reporting this month 11
- Number of ARES nets active 22
- Number of nets with NTS liaison 16
- Calls of DECs/ECs reporting W8DUQ AB8CR KD8SKZ KD8AZC KD8MIB
KC8CSE KC8EHD KD8MIV WD8PAD
9a. Number of exercises & training sessions 26
9b. Person hours 316
10a. Number of public service events 2
10b. Person hours 8
11a. Number of emergency operations 0
11b. Person hours 0
12a Number of SKYWARN operations 0
12b. Person hours 0
13a. Total Activities 32
13b. Total person hours 324
Signature Michael Maxson W8SI
SEC West Virginia