NIMS 2017

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Emergency Communications' started by Jeremy, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    There was a decent attendance for the NIMS 2017 webinar at the Luzerne Co. EMA from LCARES. We not only learned about NIMS, we also learned that getting the EOC computers up and running and on the big screen can be a bit of a challenge.

    As far as the information, there seems to be a bit of changes in nomenclature (e.g. strike team is now known as a resource team) as well as a push for nationally accepted training and credentialing. I think that the ARRL should be watching this closely. While local ARES and their served agencies can opt into the program or not, depending on their needs; f there is going to be mutual aid deployment, this training and credentialing will probably be required. Getting volunteers to not only buy into more classroom time, but also sign off sheets/assessments will be a challenge. I see pushback for what is already required, and adding technical requirements to these classes will only exacerbate this problem.

    FEMA/EMI is going to introduce new versions of many of the classes, including the big 4 that ARES members are typically required to take, but they claim that there isn't a FEMA down requirement to take the new versions if the student has already taken the old version. Of course, the new versions may be required by served agencies and/or as pre-requisites for more training.

    This trend seems to be world-wide in professional trades, not only public safety and emergency management. The trouble is that if you are not a professional, it will be hard to justify the time and effort to obtain and maintain these credentials. This will diminish the pool of willing and able people to help serve in the community, but will hopefully also increase the quality of the resource. Finding the balance between volunteer overload and maintaining quality operators will be the challenge for the ARES leadership on all levels.

    Jeremy N1ZZZ
  2. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient

    The ARES leadership is already challenged. The old story of "Finding, Training, Retaining" is always a problem and will be for the future.

    Brian Mundie dropped off the Comm-T check off books to me at the Murgas Meeting. Enough to make the average volunteer show his heels to the whole thing.

    There is only so much a volunteer to who is working 40+ a week, taking care of family responsibilities, and trying to unwind from all that can do. They want to help but they have to put first things first. I consider it a major success to have 12 of our LCARES group fully trained. The problem going forward is maintaining the edge even without the NIMS retrenchment effort. All that was learned is perishable without some reinforcement over time.

    Trying to do this on a local level is a problem. Trying to do it on a Section level is impossible because the requirements in each county are different. In the Southeast and Southwest parts of the Section the ARES groups live and die by the ICS training. Documentation and continual training at the order of the day. The Northwest portion of the section except for one county really don't worry all that much about it. In the Northeast portion of the section it varies from Luzerne and Pike Counties that require it to Wayne and Susquehanna who don't have any requirements or organization for the Amateurs. Not that the counties don't want them but it is a matter of old Hams who are tired out being most of the population.

    It is just a matter of keeping the effort going and eventually a diamond in the Ham population is found that manages to motivate the Hams in that particular county, make the proper connections with the served agencies, and begins to establish the training that the agency wants. It works. Some times.

    After attending a training planning meeting before the Skywarn session last night the topic of the NIMS refresh was brought up as well as the training needs of many of the county organizations. The blessing that Luzerne County has is that one of our volunteers knows the training issues and course contents since he is a Federal Employee. The NIMS Refresh is in demand by the volunteer groups so it will probably happen at one of the quarterly training sessions.

    Terminology - Strike Team out / Single Resource in. So the ARES Single Resource Team was a good choice even though none of the LCARES members voted for it. ASRT has a good sound to it as far as an acronym.

Share This Page