KB9MWR Speaks on “ARES/RACES is a Waste”

Steve KB9MWR makes some very valid observations on the ARES/RACES situation:

Everyone’s opinion on ARES/RACES will differ, but Steve KB9MWR has captured many of the issues with ARES/RACES and “Paraprofessional Emcomm” accurately in his presentation.

His points are 100% a fit with why I have been advocating the self-preparation plan Freecom as a replacement for Emcomm.



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7 thoughts on “KB9MWR Speaks on “ARES/RACES is a Waste”

  1. Bob K0NR says:

    This is another example of “Real amateur radio is “. For KB9MWR, the role of ham radio appears to be technical training and development of the state of the art. Nothing wrong with that… more power to him. But once again, the point missed is that amateur is not one thing…it is not (just) emergency communications, not contesting, not technical training, not advancing the radio art, not enhancing international goodwill. It is all of these things.

    Attacking the part of the hobby that we don’t appreciate is not a very productive force. Much better to focus our energy on doing something positive. See http://www.k0nr.com/wordpress/2008/01/paul-rinaldos-rule-of-amateur-radio-progress/

    73, Bob K0NR

  2. k9zw says:

    Hi Bob K0NR

    Your point is well taken.

    I agree with a “Big Tent” view of Amateur Radio – and that so many people do find differing aspects of the hobby to engage their interests bears out this idea of a “Big Tent.”

    The reaction of Steve KB9MWR is a natural one that follows on the insistence of Emcomm types that their one interest supersedes all other aspects of the Hobby.

    When that is critiqued, as Steve KB9MWR does, it is pretty hard to point out how this Emcomm-Trumps-All attitude is false without taking affront – and offering up one’s own special interests as an alternative.

    For my personal point of view, the Big Tent is best for both me personally and I would hope for our mutually enjoyed hobby.

    As for Emcomm in specific I have been one of the advocates of an repurposing of Emcomm to the Freecom idea of individual self-prepardness.

    That is a longer story and bigger issue than a comment will support, so as they say “Stay Tuned, More to Follow…”



  3. That was one of the most difficult speeches that I ever gave. Most of my ham club has been replaced by ARES Citizen Communication Corps.

    You can view more of my thinking in my blog. I just wrote yesterday again about how I basically blame this ARES insanity on the ARRL’s lack of leadership.

    Emergency communications has been part of ham radio from it’s inception. Yet we need separate entities (ARES/RACES) to help promote it? Why not separate entities to help advance this hobby…

    Thanks for picking this up and blogging on it.

  4. Steve KG5VK says:

    KB9MWR is right on target !

    During post Katrina disaster I deployed as a “Freecom” Amateur in support of the US Coast Guard at their request

    I was neither a member of any ARES group or have ever taken any Emcomm MIMS etc exams

    I did deploy with experience of being licensed for over 25 years and many many Field Days under my belt

    I was on site for 4 days and directly assisted USCG with civilian traffic from that areas 911 calls that were routed way up North in the state that were relayed to me there at Beale Chase NAS on HF from members of the Ham community back home (Shreveport, LA)


    [edited to fix WordPress line-breaks]

  5. In the January 2010 issue of QST on page 9 the “It seems to Us” editorial by K1ZZ is about just this same theme.

    It’s titled “Not an Emergency Radio Service?” And references a FCC Public Notice DA 09-2259 that states “While the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communications service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications, is one of the underlying principles of the amateur service, the amateur service is not an emergency radio service [emphasis added].”

  6. W8QHV says:

    Here is my point of view. If the FCC wants to yank our frequencies, they will end up in the hands of public service anyway. Out of graciousness to the FCC, we hams sometimes lend a hand to the public service community via the frequencies with which we’ve been graced. After we are finished, we go back to having fun on the air.

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