Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARESŪ)
ARESŪ in Ohio
ARESŪ consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. ARESŪ, which has developed since 1935, is a part of the ARRL field organization. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible for membership in the ARESŪ. The only qualification, other than possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to serve. Because ARESŪ is an amateur service, only amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.
There are three levels of ARESŪ organization--section, district and local. At the ARRL section level, the Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) is appointed by the Section Manager (SM) who is elected by the ARRL members in his section and works under his supervision. In most sections, the SM delegates to the SEC the administration of the Section Emergency Plan and the authority to appoint district and local ECs.
It is at the local level where most of the organization and operation is effected, because this is the level at which most emergencies occur and the level at which ARESŪ leadership makes direct contact with the ARESŪ member-volunteers and with officials of the agencies to be served. The local EC is therefore the key contact in the ARESŪ. The EC is appointed by the SEC, usually on the recommendation of the district EC (DEC).
The SECs have the option of grouping their EC jurisdictions into "districts" and appointing a district EC to coordinate the activities of the local ECs. The Ohio SEC has set up nine (9) ARESŪ districts in the section for administrative purposes. Each Ohio district is made up of from nine to eleven counties. Licking County is in Ohio ARESŪ District Seven.
There are any number of different situations and circumstances that might confront an EC, and his ARESŪ unit should be organized in anticipation of them. There is no specific point at which organization ceases and operation commences. Both phases must be concurrent because a living organization is a changing one, and the operations of a changing organization must change with the organization.
As stated above, ARESŪ is part of
the ARRL field organization. ARESŪ has a "Christmas
tree" management structure. At the top of the tree is the Section
Emergency Coordinator (SEC). Below the SEC are District Emergency Coordinators
(DEC) normally appointed at the county or group of counties level by the SEC.
Below each DEC is a group of Emergency Coordinators (EC) who are responsible at
the county and city level. Each EC may need Assistant Emergency Coordinators (AEC)
to handle various functions at the city and county level.
The Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) is appointed by the ARRL Section Manager (SM) to take care of all matters pertaining to emergency communications and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARESŪ) on a statewide basis.
The District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) is appointed by the SEC as the manager primarily responsible for area-wide coordination of ARESŪ activities. The DEC recruits and appoints Emergency Coordinators in each of his/her districts.
The Emergency Coordinator (EC) is responsible for the promotion and enhancement of activities of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service for public service at the local level. The EC is generally responsible for promoting the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARESŪ) for the benefit of the public as a voluntary non-commercial communications service through:
* Resource planning
* Recruiting and training of volunteers
* Establishing and maintaining liaison with served agencies
* Administration of on-going programs
* Overall amateur radio operational control during emergency and disaster situations
During disasters, Emergency Coordinators maintain liaison with the County Government Center to coordinate city/county amateur radio activities.
The EC has jurisdiction over all communities in an entire county. The EC is in charge of all ARESŪ activities in his area, not just one interest group, one agency, one club or one band. Special-interest groups are headed up by "assistant emergency coordinators," designated by the EC to supervise activities of groups operating in certain bands, especially those groups which play an important role at the local level, but they may be designated in any manner the EC deems appropriate. These assistants, with the EC as chairman, constitute the local ARESŪ "planning committee" and they meet together to discuss problems and plan projects to keep the ARESŪ group active and well-trained.
Assistant Emergency Coordinators (AEC) are selected and appointed by the EC. Each EC may have as many AECs as required to effectively manage the ARESŪ unit. The Emergency Coordinator may appoint assistants who are responsible for managing specific activities necessary to establish and develop a viable ARESŪ unit. In a major disaster operation, several managers will required for each operational activity. These roles can best be staffed with people who have advance preparation for the job and local knowledge.