[REACT-LIST] Practice Vital

Paul - W4ATN Paul at W4ATN.com
Tue May 30 13:01:29 EDT 2017

Ron, et. al. 

I think all of this just underscores the need for MODERN training, standard
terminology and plain language all of which FEMA and most of the groups we
support are doing. I know many of us work with our local Emergency Managers,
Fire & Police Departments and hospitals. We should be modeling ourselves,
our teams and REACT International after these models. Even in healthcare we
use the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS). When our CERT is working
with our city and county we are included in the Incident Action Plan (IAP)
which uses all of the ICS forms. Our CERT (and ARES / RACES) frequencies are
listed on ICS-205. The city uses ICS-213 (message) slightly different than I
think it was planned. It is used for last minute communications for things
such as weather, safety updates and "general" communications as part of the

ALL of our county agencies use ICS including health, roads, parks, public
utilities and even our local electric company. AAACERT, REACT, ARES and
RACES members are also encouraged to attend the ICS classes with the county
agencies and it has improved our standing in the "community" greatly. Our
county hasn't used 10 codes or "signals" in over a decade or more. I heard a
FF use "10-4" a couple of weeks ago on an event that I was participating and
the Battalion Chief chewed him a new one! Granted, the BC is an ICS

If we want to be taken seriously by the agencies that we want to support we
need to be professional and adapt to standardization. I think RI should
REQUIRE this of all members and teams. I think we should REQUIRE a minimum
of ICS-100, ICS-200, ICS-700 and either the ARRL Emergency Communications
course or the DHS AuxComm course. Also, let's get off of this idea that we
are a "communicator" and refuse to do "other duties as assigned." 

In addition to the above we need to LOOK professional. If your team has a
uniform - require it and wear it. If no formal uniform then a professional
dress code to include proper body hygiene! Need I even mention using alcohol
when activated??!!

I know that I will be meet with resistance by many of our members and teams
on these issues but, I'd rather work with a few real professionals (yes
Volunteers ARE professionals) than a bunch of yahoo's who represent
themselves and their organizations poorly. I think these should be policies
from RI and enforced to the members and teams. If the individual or team
doesn't want to follow - oh well, "nice know'n ya!"

We should be having monthly (at a minimum) training to include not only
lecture but tabletop, functional and full-scale exercises. These should be
IN ADDITION to those from the agencies we support. 




Paul - W4ATN


ARRL Life Member


From: REACT-LIST [mailto:react-list-bounces at lists.reactintl.net] On Behalf
Of Ron McCracken
Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 09:13
To: RI List <react-list at lists.reactintl.net>; RI Communications
<reactcommunications at yahoogroups.com>; RI Yahoo <reactintl at yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [REACT-LIST] Practice Vital


Great to hear, Phil. Thanks for sharing the link. Perhaps other Teams have
similar resources they would share.


I find it easier to pass phrases rather than X words. Ex. 'Another EMS team
needed/ at location 5/ to treat 7 burn victims.' Again, that just
underscores the need for regular practice so operators are familiar with the
system in use, whatever it may be. When real burn victims are the subject,
it is not the time to be practising. I was in pain just listening to the
confusion and imagining those folk suffering. 


I'm glad your training occurs on a regular basis. That is key. It can be fun
by having a competition, even awarding simple prizes. The REACT Nets also
help in this regard so Teams can encourage their members to take part. They
offer regular and frequent opportunities to practise our on-air skills.
Thanks again.




From: Phil Henderson <kf6zsq at yahoo.com <mailto:kf6zsq at yahoo.com> >
Sent: May 29, 2017 1:36 PM
To: Ron McCracken; RI List; RI Communications; RI Yahoo
Subject: Re: [REACT-LIST] Practice Vital 


In Santa Clara County, California, we have several training courses to train
hams how to prepare for emergencies.  One course is message passing.  One
thing we stress when passing a message is to send 5 words at a time, pause
and wait for acknowledgement that the person receiving the message has
received it, and then send the next 5 words, etc.  There are several Acrobat
files of courses we provide every year on our web site,
www.scc-ares-races.org, <http://www.scc-ares-races.org,/>  including Message
Passing and Net Control.

Phil Henderson, KF6ZSQ, AEC, Mountain View, CA



From: Ron McCracken <Ron.McCr at hotmail.com <mailto:Ron.McCr at hotmail.com> >
To: RI List <react-list at lists.reactintl.net
<mailto:react-list at lists.reactintl.net> >; RI Communications
<reactcommunications at yahoogroups.com
<mailto:reactcommunications at yahoogroups.com> >; RI Yahoo
<reactintl at yahoogroups.com <mailto:reactintl at yahoogroups.com> > 
Sent: Monday, May 29, 2017 6:17 AM
Subject: [REACT-LIST] Practice Vital


Does your Team practise passing exact messages? Does it use IMS message
forms to ensure accuracy? As REACT Month winds down, I was rudely reminded
of how vital this is.


I was helping Sat. with a ham radio SET (Simulated Emergency Test). Thank
goodness it was only a SET. Some operators passing IMS messages were
speaking much too quickly for the receiving station to copy down. They had
to repeat the message several times. That, of course, tied up the frequency
needlessly. Other stations with urgent traffic were delayed unnecessarily.
Not good, at all.


Ironically, the worst example could actually have cost lives in a real
emergency. The station calling needed another ambulance team at his
location. Seven (7) burn victims needed urgent treatment. 


However, he was speaking so quickly that Net Control could not copy the
message. No one could. And, this was only a SET, not the real thing where he
would be stressed. He had to repeat the message 4 or 5 times. That precious
lost time easily could have been fatal for some of those burn victims. Both
operators were becoming upset, so the innocent victims suffered further as a


Do occasional practices at Team meetings. Send someone into another room or
out to a vehicle. Have him pass a message using IMS protocol. Time it. When
he returns, have others report on the strong and weak points in the
exchange. It is vitally important.


Some tips:


1.	Study the message before you touch the mic.
2.	Divide it into small sections. Mark them.
3.	Pause after you speak each section.
4.	Speak more slowly than you usually would.


The REACT Nets are valuable practice, so take advantage. If people ask you
to repeat, you likely need to slow down. When the rubber hits the road in a
real incident, you want to know that you can get a message through
flawlessly, the first time. Lives will perhaps hang in the balance. 


Next REACT Month, or anytime your Team has a safety display, 'message
passing' would make an interesting and informative part of it for your
visitors. Easy to arrange. Impressive when done well.



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