Emcomm Professionalization Marches On 3 - November - 2009Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Emcomm, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
Tags: ARRL, Emcomm, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled
As an ARRL Emcomm Level I, II & III Field Instructor/Mentor/Examiner I’m included on the ARRL’s related communications.
The program is doing a major change, and just look at the list of courses they expect someone to make time to take – courses that do not have very much to do with Radios BTW, but instead are our Government’s ideas being imposed by our organization.
As an employer I would be hard pressed to ask this level of coursework not directly related to our task at hand, but for Volunteers it seems very unlikely that as hobbyists that we could really ask people to complete a list that includes:
- ICS (NIMS)-700
and, get this – drops the requirement to hold an FCC Radio License to be an ARRL Emcomm Team Member or leader!!
Notice that you now need “permission” to train from your Section Manager!
That the ARRL is no longer driving the “Emcomm Bus” is confirmed when deference to FEMA becomes so complete as to tell us: “Please note: the list of FEMA course as prerequisites, as well as those referenced internally within the course, may change as FEMA makes changes to its course offerings or the course is modified to introduce new content.”
In all fairness this is for the advanced (combined old Level II & III) Emcomm level, but that the leadership has been turned over to non-ham served agencies is evident at the Basic Level as well.
Here is the announcement:
To: Continuing Education Program EmComm Mentors and Instructors
The new Emergency Communications course is taking shape. Here are the details.
The content of the new emergency communications course is undergoing final review and the decisions about what shape this new course will take have been made. I’d like to update you on our progress, what changes are being made and what may be expected of you.
As we have said previously, the former Level 2 and Level 3 Emergency Communications courses are being updated and combined into one new course. The new course will focus on emergency communications training for leaders and managers. The title of the new course is Public Service and Emergency Communications Management for Radio Amateurs.
We anticipate launching this new course in January 2010. It has been developed in a lesson format and will be posted on our website and, as such, it will be viewable by any ARRL member. Members will need only log in to the ARRL website to see the course material. It will not be a mentored course. Later on, we may provide a mentored online forum on our website where students can post questions about course topics and receive answers from a mentor.
Requirements for Course Completion:
The new course requires that the student has previously completed the Level 1/Basic course, certain FEMA courses and has some experience with Amateur Radio and emergency communications. Those who desire to receive a course completion certificate for this new course (which we refer to in shorthand as “Advanced EmComm”) will first need to document that they have satisfied a list of prerequisites. After providing the necessary documentation, applicants will be required to pay an enrollment fee of $35 to gain access to the course’s final exam. This fee will help to offset the cost of developing the course and for the online testing service as well as costs for administrative support.
The course prerequisites to be verified include:
An Amateur Radio license,
Completion of ARRL’s Level 1/Basic course, and
Completion of FEMA courses that are background for this course.
ICS-100 (basic ICS)
ICS-300, a classroom course, is also highly recommended, but not required
Candidates for the course completion certificate will also be required to document completion of additional FEMA courses that are integrated into the Advanced EmComm course curriculum. These include:
IS-800 (National Response Framework)
FEMA IS-240, Leadership & Influence
FEMA IS-241, Decision Making & Problem Solving
FEMA IS-250, Emergency Support Function 15 (ESF15), External Affairs
FEMA IS-1, Emergency Manager, An Orientation to the Position
IS-288, The Role of Voluntary Agencies in Emergency Management
IS-244, Developing and Managing Volunteers
FEMA IS-120.a, An Introduction to Exercises
FEMA IS-130, Exercise Evaluation and Improvement Planning
FEMA IS-139, Exercise Design
Please note: the list of FEMA course as prerequisites, as well as those referenced internally within the course, may change as FEMA makes changes to its course offerings or the course is modified to introduce new content.
Applicants will also need to supply a reference from their Section Manager, or his or her designee, stating the reason for the applicant’s participation. Section Managers will take into account the applicant’s relevant experience or role within emergency communications and whether they are in good standing within the amateur radio community. Once applicants have documented that these requirements have been met and they have paid the course evaluation fee, they will receive access to complete the online exam.
We are also making provision for unlicensed individuals who perform an official role as an emergency responder to earn the course completion certificate if they desire. To apply to take the final exam and earn the course completion certificate, these individuals will need to obtain a “waiver” recommendation from the local ARRL Section Manager. This waiver request should include a description of the position of responsibility the applicant holds in an emergency response organization. Note that these individuals will need to be an ARRL member to obtain access to the course on the ARRL website. Later on, when other media formats are available there may be additional ways to access the course materials.
Because of the nature of the course content and its fluidity with regard to decisions of the Federal government, as well as its internal links to reference material from non-ARRL sources, we are reluctant to produce copies of the course in media which are fixed in time. Nevertheless, later on, we are considering publishing the Advanced course in other media formats (print, CD, etc.), and depending on demand, may also build an infrastructure for field classroom instruction of the course. However, all course completion exams will be conducted online and course completion certificates will be issued online. We will notify Section Managers of the names of those who earn the course completion certificate.
Status of Current Mentors and Instructors:
All current EmComm online Mentors and Field Instructors who intend to continue instructing the Level 1/Basic course, as well as any who foresee conducting classroom instruction for the new Advanced course, will need to take this course and earn the course completion certificate.
All EmComm Mentors and Field Instructors will need to earn this course completion certificate on or before December 31, 2010 to continue in the role of Emergency Communications Mentor or Field Instructor. This is one of a few new qualifying requirements for Mentors and Field Instructors that will be phased in during 2010 as we endeavor to insure more consistency and control over EmComm instruction.
Mentors and Field Instructors who have been active during the past 2 years—since January 2008—will be able to enroll in the course evaluation component of the new Advanced course free of charge.
We have been reevaluating our EmComm training goals and processes as we have been configuring this new course. There were many opinions and constraints to be considered, but we believe we now have an excellent training program about to be unveiled which will position Amateur Radio well for the future. We appreciate your patience.
Debra Johnson, K1DMJ
Education Services Manager
ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio™
225 Main Street
Newington, CT 06111-1494
Fax: (860) 594-0259
The ARRL CE Program has not been updated past dropping EC-002 & EC-003 from the offering. http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html (As an aside a number of other courses have been withdrawn over time for various reasons or for repackaging as a purchased course at the ARRL Store).
More as the ARRL explains the moves to a FEMA based Emcomm program.