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Posted: 2/15/2015 11:59:07 AM EDT
I was doing so me work in a local county building I ran in to one of the Emergency Center Managers
We were discussing another problem and he told me some Ham Radio guys  are "Out There"

While they appreciate our efforts some Hams do present themselves a bit overboard.
Remember these people deal with emergencies everyday.

Just food for thought.

Link Posted: 2/15/2015 12:07:40 PM EDT
[#1]

I don't have a Ticket, but I read this section a lot.





Most people that I know outside of the Survival community think Hams are goobers, loners, weird, right wing, out of touch nut jobs that are going to crack anytime.


Link Posted: 2/15/2015 12:11:00 PM EDT
[#2]
As I view it if Hams present themselves as professionals they will be taken Far more serious.

Link Posted: 2/15/2015 12:17:13 PM EDT
[#3]
While I agree that there are some hams who are "out there", there are two sides to every coin.  I've recently been involved in the installation of a repeater that was authorized by the city manager to go on a tower owned by the city and then we ran into a member of the EOC that refused to give access to the building (owned by the city) where the repeater would be installed.  The underlying argument was that emergency management was THEIR job and that they didn't want or need help from hams.  It was conveniently forgotten that during the last flood it was hams that provided communications in isolated areas, thereby freeing up first responders to deal with actual emergencies.

The funny thing is that the county next door has fully embraced having hams involved in emergency management as an extra resource to be used as needed.  It's the same group of hams.
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 12:25:44 PM EDT
[#4]
Funny you mention this...a few weeks ago I was selling some stuff at a local ham fest and I kept thinking to myself how weird everybody was and how, aside from using a radio, I had literally nothing in common with 99% of the people there. Half the people were 60yrs+, and the other half were pale, overweight prepper types carrying around Condor shoulder satchels, and wearing 5.11 pants. I have nothing against any of these folks, they are all good people if you sit down and chat with them, but none of them instill any sense of professionalism. Thankfully, we have more Iraq & Afghanistan vets becoming active in amateur radio, that will hopefully become involved in emcomm, and hopefully be a little more squared away.
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 1:14:19 PM EDT
[#5]
I think a lot of the time, the ones who are most visible, are not truly representative of the group as a whole. We see all of the Hams who are "out there", because they make a point of being seen.  But we don't see the vast majority of Hams, because they are actually "normal looking people" (whatever that is), and thus blend in with society as a whole.

If I passed any of the Arfcom Hams on the street, I seriously doubt I would be able to identify them as Hams. 700,000 licensed Hams in this country, but the only ones I can identify by sight, are the ones I see at the hamfest each year.

I do  agree that looking professional can make a difference in how we (or anyone) are perceived. Unfortunately, Hams often times get judged because of the appearance of a few.




Here is a map showing the geographical location of Hams in this country.  The Northeast US must be full of some real geeky dudes.
http://hamcall.net/images/ushams.jpg
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 1:35:36 PM EDT
[#6]
I'm studying for Tech right now and mentioned it to a friend yesterday, he looked at me like I said I just ate a house cat for breakfast. He listens to a CB in his truck all day and reckons that anything outside of that is just weird apparently. He also said he could hear anything a Ham could hear on the same truck radio if he tunes it right...but anyway, he's a good guy, just has no idea what's out there I suppose.

There's a lot of misconception out there, since I'm new to the game I have no idea where it comes from though. I was looking through pics of last year's local-ish Hamfest and most people were well dressed and there were a couple that I know to be well respected professionals in their daily lives.
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 1:52:31 PM EDT
[#7]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I don't have a Ticket, but I read this section a lot.





Most people that I know outside of the Survival community think Hams are goobers, loners, weird, right wing, out of touch nut jobs that are going to crack anytime.


View Quote View All Quotes
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Quoted:
I don't have a Ticket, but I read this section a lot.





Most people that I know outside of the Survival community think Hams are goobers, loners, weird, right wing, out of touch nut jobs that are going to crack anytime.




Really?  The QRZ and eham forums and seem to paint an entirely different picture.



Quoted:
While I agree that there are some hams who are "out there", there are two sides to every coin.  I've recently been involved in the installation of a repeater that was authorized by the city manager to go on a tower owned by the city and then we ran into a member of the EOC that refused to give access to the building (owned by the city) where the repeater would be installed.  The underlying argument was that emergency management was THEIR job and that they didn't want or need help from hams.  It was conveniently forgotten that during the last flood it was hams that provided communications in isolated areas, thereby freeing up first responders to deal with actual emergencies.

The funny thing is that the county next door has fully embraced having hams involved in emergency management as an extra resource to be used as needed.  It's the same group of hams.


Next time they need you, remind them that emergency management was THEIR job but you would be glad to help them since they apparently can only handle it when there isn't an actual emergency.
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 3:07:52 PM EDT
[#8]
Looking professional is not what it takes to have a seat at the table with your local emergency management agency.

Hams must at a minimum successfully complete the following FEMA courses: IS-700a, IS-100b, IS-800b, & IS-200b in order to be a volunteer.

In my community this training requirement has kept most of the goofballs from wanting to "help out".
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 3:13:47 PM EDT
[#9]
Not sure about other places, but attend a hamfest around here and its a pretty sad sight.  Most would do anything to help another, but damn the cover of the book is pretty rough to get past.
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 3:39:36 PM EDT
[#10]
Years ago there was an infamous event where a ham working at a drill wouldn't let they mayor hold the mic of a 2m rig for a photo op.

That's the issue in a nutshell. "Self-important" doesnt even touch it.
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 3:42:46 PM EDT
[#11]
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Quoted:
Not sure about other places, but attend a hamfest around here and its a pretty sad sight.  Most would do anything to help another, but damn the cover of the book is pretty rough to get past.
View Quote


this to a tee...
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 3:45:51 PM EDT
[#12]


Link Posted: 2/15/2015 3:54:03 PM EDT
[#13]
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Quoted:
Not sure about other places, but attend a hamfest around here and its a pretty sad sight.  Most would do anything to help another, but damn the cover of the book is pretty rough to get past.
View Quote

Nailed it. The shooting sports can suffer the same problem.
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 4:30:20 PM EDT
[#14]
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Quoted:

Nailed it. The shooting sports can suffer the same problem.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Not sure about other places, but attend a hamfest around here and its a pretty sad sight.  Most would do anything to help another, but damn the cover of the book is pretty rough to get past.

Nailed it. The shooting sports can suffer the same problem.


Oh, hell yeah. I live in the Northeast, where "there are a lot of geeky dudes", and I haven't met anyone I would care to hang with beyond the occasional casual QSO on the radio, and maybe not even then. In my limited experience in meeting local hams (limited because of my experience meeting local hams) the stereotype rings true and hard: old, geeky, massively overweight, ignorant and, for those who want to inject themselves into the public safety sector, completely over the top whacker wannabees. As a once upon a time public safety "insider" (volly EMS and emergency management), the last thing anyone wanted to see was jackets, hats, badges, stickers, decals, and, most importantly, attitude.

At any rate, modern technology continues to chip away at the ability of amateur radio to contribute in meaningful ways to public safety. I'm not writing that it isn't happening, but it sure is happening less. Almost not at all around here.
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 4:45:06 PM EDT
[#15]
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 5:34:35 PM EDT
[#16]
There are plenty of weirdos in any hobby. It seems like many talk the talk but can't do the walk. I know plenty of highly "decorated" ham operators who talk and act like they are experts. Unfortunately most probably don't even know Ohms law and cant install power leads on their radios.
Heck I know a local guy who is a self proclaimed automotive expert with a lot of T-shirts, patches and attitude. He asked me to help him change oil I his new "tuned" super truck. He did not know how to do this and pays a dealer shop to do anything on his cars. I know another guy who is a well know motorcycle expert with a lot of patches and T-shirts to prove it. He gives newbies advise on how to tune engines, etc. I helped him sync carbs on his cruiser bike. It was too complicated for the "expert".
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 6:10:01 PM EDT
[#17]
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I am not naming names, but I think one of our own is in one of those pictures.
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 8:29:13 PM EDT
[#18]
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Quoted:


I am not naming names, but I think one of our own is in one of those pictures.
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Quoted:


I am not naming names, but I think one of our own is in one of those pictures.


I would guess one in camo, with a .38 under the shirt???
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 8:47:23 PM EDT
[#19]
The top pic is almost certainly the H.F. Packers with their field gear. 73, Rob
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 9:02:53 PM EDT
[#20]
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 9:28:01 PM EDT
[#21]
When some people think of hams…they think of the towers or vehicles covered in antennas. I know guys who walk around with a HT or two and an obscenely long antenna on their belts. I also know hams who are completely opposite. Unless you got a good look at their vehicles or a glimpse of the Motorola accompanying them…you'd never know they were hams.

One the EOC…I guess it helps when your local Emergency Management Coordinator is a ham.

I don't agree with the all hams who wish to volunteer must have certain FEMA trainings. I think they should be allowed to get a taste of it. The interested ham will get the training anyway. What I've found, if you are present and professional in the community the local coordinator will invite you to classes are otherwise LEO's only. I go to probably 3 or 4 a year hosted by the county sheriffs office. I'm one of only a handful of RACES members who gets invited. Again, because I'm one of the active few who goes and works on everyone's repeaters, helps program county officials radios (many of which happen to be hams as well) I get invited.

I guess I'm somewhat of an oddball. I pretty much wear cowboy boots and jeans every day…add a t-shirt and maybe a hat and that covers this 23 year old's wardrobe. I generally only ever have one HT on me…
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 9:34:11 PM EDT
[#22]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I don't have a Ticket, but I read this section a lot.





Most people that I know outside of the Survival community think Hams are goobers, loners, weird, right wing, out of touch nut jobs that are going to crack anytime.


View Quote


Sir, you wound me. I am in no way, shape, or form out of touch.
Link Posted: 2/15/2015 11:56:05 PM EDT
[#23]
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Quoted:
Looking professional is not what it takes to have a seat at the table with your local emergency management agency.

Hams must at a minimum successfully complete the following FEMA courses: IS-700a, IS-100b, IS-800b, & IS-200b in order to be a volunteer.

In my community this training requirement has kept most of the goofballs from wanting to "help out".
View Quote



MARS requires the same courses.
Link Posted: 2/16/2015 12:47:51 AM EDT
[#24]
The County that I am active in ARES/RACES strongly includes our group in it's overall emergency response plan.  The County Emergency Manager attends our meetings and updates us regarding their current operations.  We have a major investment in Ham gear purchased by the County.  We basically use our own gear only as backup to what the County provides us.  Just to get in it is really selective.  Overall the members are highly intelligent and a fun group to be around.

I do a lot of listening and learning, better that they think I'm smarter than I look.
Link Posted: 2/16/2015 8:01:57 AM EDT
[#25]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I don't have a Ticket, but I read this section a lot.
Most people that I know outside of the Survival community think Hams are goobers, loners, weird, right wing, out of touch nut jobs that are going to crack anytime.





View Quote


Yeah, I'm in there.



 
Link Posted: 2/16/2015 9:09:15 AM EDT
[#26]
As mentioned above, Amateur Radio is just a cross section of society.  Geeks abound in all walks of life....Hamfest and Meetings are just a more concentrated mass of Nerdom, and"tools are everywhere"

I'm a pretty typical looking dude.  Never have an HT with me, and won't wear the club polo-shirt-it ain't my style (Tee's and Jeans, thank you).
I'm too busy raising a family to be officially involved with ARES/RACES so I don't concern myself in that boondoggle.    


Link Posted: 2/16/2015 9:11:05 AM EDT
[#27]
Life is a fine balance...

Bill



Link Posted: 2/16/2015 9:43:43 AM EDT
[#28]
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Quoted:



MARS requires the same courses.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Looking professional is not what it takes to have a seat at the table with your local emergency management agency.

Hams must at a minimum successfully complete the following FEMA courses: IS-700a, IS-100b, IS-800b, & IS-200b in order to be a volunteer.

In my community this training requirement has kept most of the goofballs from wanting to "help out".



MARS requires the same courses.



I worked as a professional firefighter/paramedic (retired) on a big city department (ISO Class 1 department),  and still work as a paramedic. And we were required to have all those classes. If you wanted to be a company officer (or higher), you had to have additional FEMA courses (among a lot of other requirements) to even sign up to take the promotional exam. The reason for this is the same reason you need to take these classes to be a volunteer radio operator. Everybody is supposed to be on the same page. It doesn't matter if you are being paid or not, if you are an active participant in an incident, everybody needs to be on the same page. A lot of hams don't understand this. In order to work effectively,you need to be part of the whole system. Just because you are a ham doesn't mean you just do what you want to. Once you enter into this arena, this isn't just ham radio anymore. You are part of a bigger picture.

Ham radio has it's share of geeks. It has it's share of people that are over the top. It has it's share of people who don't dress well............... Just like any other random group of people. Personally, I don't care. Of course there are a lot of guys that are overweight: they spend every waking moment of their lives in front of computers and radios. So what ? They are good at what they do. They may not be good at physical activities, but that isn't what they are there for.

Here where I live, the main obstacle to providing emergency communication is the power struggle between the communication professionals and the volunteers. The guy who is getting paid for this doesn't think we are needed and doesn't want to admit that it's possible for his systems to fail. He also doesn't understand that during a large scale incident, there is a lot of communication that needs to take place that doesn't involve police/fire/EMS. I can tell you that as someone who does this sort of thing for a living and has for around 30 years that there is a need for ham radio communication. A lot of people, including hams, envision our role as taking the place of 911 or something. That probably isn't the case, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a need for communication beyond that. In fact, to me, this is the whole point: If phone service is down, a lot of the players in these incidents don't have communications and don't have the means to communicate with other agencies involved.
Link Posted: 2/16/2015 12:38:00 PM EDT
[#29]
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Quoted:
....I had literally nothing in common with 99% of the people there. Half the people were 60yrs+, and the other half were pale, overweight prepper types carrying around Condor shoulder satchels, and wearing 5.11 pants. I have nothing against any of these folks, they are all good people if you sit down and chat with them, but none of them instill any sense of professionalism. Thankfully, we have more Iraq & Afghanistan vets becoming active in amateur radio, that will hopefully become involved in emcomm, and hopefully be a little more squared away.
View Quote



QFT&J

I got my license after I ETS from the Army in 04 (stop lossed), I was looking for a way to give back to local community. I joined CERT took all the classes and got the ID card, got my Technicians and joined RACES.
I took all the required FEMA classes and got all the certs. Then I went to the required NOAA storm spotters training class &that  brought in a large group that was a freak show like described above.
I have no desire to be associated with that group.

I went on a tornado response with CERT and it was much the same, all hat and no cattle.
I decided to find a new group that I was a better fit with because what I was seeing was a joke.

I joined Team Rubicon and have now been on several responses with them and I am very pleased with this group. No surprise its 100% veterans.
My recommendation to any vet that's frustrated like I was, take a look at Team Rubicon. You will be very comfortable. Its not currently HAM centric but there certainly is a need for it and with enough support I could see it being integrated at some point.
Link Posted: 2/16/2015 4:23:12 PM EDT
[#30]
I met Piccolo 2 years ago and he is a super great guy. He's the type of dude I see in my head when I think of Hams and the shooting sports overall.
Link Posted: 2/16/2015 6:12:51 PM EDT
[#31]
I obviously am a ham....the thing that turns me off to some, are the ones who get all excited when there is a storm coming and require you to attend their classes before you can tell them that it is hailing.  Good grief.  If I see dime sized hail I see it.  Doesn't matter if I sat through your class or not.  You, or I, am not going to change the storms path.  I do appreciate the fact that in bad weather I can listen to the updates, but it's the attitude of SOME of these people, like they are some super duper special forces rain gaugers, and if I don't have the tab, I'm a moron.

I understand that I can just go back to doing what I like on the radio and forget about them.  Unfortunately, they are what the public sees and thinks we are all like.
Link Posted: 2/16/2015 7:06:50 PM EDT
[#32]
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...I joined Team Rubicon and have now been on several responses with them and I am very pleased with this group. No surprise its 100% veterans.
My recommendation to any vet that's frustrated like I was, take a look at Team Rubicon. You will be very comfortable. Its not currently HAM centric but there certainly is a need for it and with enough support I could see it being integrated at some point.
View Quote

Thanks for mentioning Team Rubicon.  I meant to look deeper into their group when I first heard what they're doing.  I'd think this would align well for many on this forum  - http://www.teamrubiconusa.org/story-of-team-rubicon/

Perhaps you'd be interested in breaking out a thread that talks a bit about their communication setup / ham fit?
Link Posted: 2/16/2015 10:23:00 PM EDT
[#33]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I don't have a Ticket, but I read this section a lot.
Most people that I know outside of the Survival community think Hams are goobers, loners, weird, right wing, out of touch nut jobs that are going to crack anytime.





View Quote




I am.



 
Link Posted: 2/16/2015 11:04:57 PM EDT
[#34]
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Quoted:
I obviously am a ham....the thing that turns me off to some, are the ones who get all excited when there is a storm coming and require you to attend their classes before you can tell them that it is hailing.  Good grief.  If I see dime sized hail I see it.  Doesn't matter if I sat through your class or not.  You, or I, am not going to change the storms path.  I do appreciate the fact that in bad weather I can listen to the updates, but it's the attitude of SOME of these people, like they are some super duper special forces rain gaugers, and if I don't have the tab, I'm a moron.

I understand that I can just go back to doing what I like on the radio and forget about them.  Unfortunately, they are what the public sees and thinks we are all like.
View Quote


Don't even get my stated on the subject of my local Skywarn team…doesn't matter if you've taken the LEO version of their class (which is taught by the same guy) or the online NWS training, it wasn't theirs so fuck you. They go out of their way to chase a storm that isn't even threatening any major urban areas 70-80 miles out of town. Then when the second wave comes closer to town, no one is in town to keep an eye on that one. Just a good ol' boys club for those who like to beat off to Twister every time a storm is predicted…
Link Posted: 2/16/2015 11:05:35 PM EDT
[#35]
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Quoted:
There are plenty of weirdos in any hobby. It seems like many talk the talk but can't do the walk. I know plenty of highly "decorated" ham operators who talk and act like they are experts. Unfortunately most probably don't even know Ohms law and cant install power leads on their radios.
Heck I know a local guy who is a self proclaimed automotive expert with a lot of T-shirts, patches and attitude. He asked me to help him change oil I his new "tuned" super truck. He did not know how to do this and pays a dealer shop to do anything on his cars. I know another guy who is a well know motorcycle expert with a lot of patches and T-shirts to prove it. He gives newbies advise on how to tune engines, etc. I helped him sync carbs on his cruiser bike. It was too complicated for the "expert".
View Quote


Yeah, I know way too many people like this...
Link Posted: 2/16/2015 11:06:12 PM EDT
[#36]
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Quoted:


I am not naming names, but I think one of our own is in one of those pictures.
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Quoted:


I am not naming names, but I think one of our own is in one of those pictures.


No thats, Mark there in the cammo... Neither I nor Pic (I think) are in that pic, though I recognize a few of them.

Link Posted: 2/16/2015 11:06:22 PM EDT
[#37]
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Wait...Why isn't ham radio inside the socially inept circle?
Link Posted: 2/17/2015 11:12:53 AM EDT
[#38]
I am just an old gun nut that loved shooting competition , combat pistol , 3 gun . now im too  crippled up to compete anymore and have always been interested in radio from the old multiband sw receiver my parents bought me when i was a kid, use to stay up late at night and tune in stations and was amazed by it .
Link Posted: 2/17/2015 11:16:05 AM EDT
[#39]
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Quoted:

Wait...Why isn't ham radio inside the socially inept circle?
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Quoted:

Wait...Why isn't ham radio inside the socially inept circle?


Someone wasn't honest with the Venn diagarm
Link Posted: 2/17/2015 1:25:26 PM EDT
[#40]
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Quoted:


Someone wasn't honest with the Venn diagarm
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Quoted:
Quoted:

Wait...Why isn't ham radio inside the socially inept circle?


Someone wasn't honest with the Venn diagarm


And some need to learn how to read a Venn Diagram.  Notice the dotted line circle?  
Link Posted: 2/17/2015 5:31:42 PM EDT
[#41]

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Quoted:
MARS requires the same courses.
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Quoted:



Quoted:

Looking professional is not what it takes to have a seat at the table with your local emergency management agency.



Hams must at a minimum successfully complete the following FEMA courses: IS-700a, IS-100b, IS-800b, & IS-200b in order to be a volunteer.



In my community this training requirement has kept most of the goofballs from wanting to "help out".






MARS requires the same courses.

....and Army MARS has mandatory minimum participation requirements that include being net control at least once per quarter.


The general consensus among professional emergency management personnel is that hams mean well...but don't or won't train on an ongoing basis and therefore have few applicable skills to bring to the table. With the exception of MARS and some RACES units (of which a lot of members are MARS stations) they're pretty much correct in their observation.



 

Link Posted: 2/17/2015 7:54:01 PM EDT
[#42]
In my county the ARES group is taken pretty seriously by the emergency responders.  The County Emergency Operations Center has a room devoted to ham radios supplied by the county.  Basically, the ARES leadership folks are professionals and treated as such by the county.  From what I see in this thread, that could be the exception.
Link Posted: 2/17/2015 10:17:16 PM EDT
[#43]
Quoted:
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Wait...Why isn't ham radio inside the socially inept circle?
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No, were they're just outside the socially inept circle, but inside the.intelligent and obsessed circles.

Bill
Link Posted: 2/18/2015 10:08:38 PM EDT
[#44]
When headed to my first hamfest my Elmer told me, "You'll never see a stranger bunch of
folk than you'll see at a hamfest."

He was right.  
Link Posted: 2/18/2015 11:13:57 PM EDT
[#45]
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Quoted:
In my county the ARES group is taken pretty seriously by the emergency responders.  The County Emergency Operations Center has a room devoted to ham radios supplied by the county.  Basically, the ARES leadership folks are professionals and treated as such by the county.  From what I see in this thread, that could be the exception.
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We have the same setup. We have a station inside the county EOC which is also the 911 dispatch center. However, I don't think we are taken seriously. I also don't think we are considered in any way as part of an overall emergency plan. And to be honest with you, I don't really blame them. We don't have a lot of people. Those people arn't available 24/7. We have been asked to take on a project or two and never came through with anything other than talking about it.  I don't think it has anything to do with how we look.

Here is what I think, based on reading between the lines of some overheard conversation: I think the guys in charge go to various drills where they are evaluated for whatever reason. And in each one of these drills the scenario always leads to a situation where the public service radios don't work and to score high on the drill you need to have a contingency plan for this. So, they made a token effort (using grant money) to be able to say they have a plan B. I believe this was done just to get a check mark in the box and was not done in order to actually use us for anything.
Link Posted: 2/19/2015 6:19:25 PM EDT
[#46]
I sometimes dance with my daughter in public.

Or talk on the radio in public.

Seems some folks think both are weird...I don't care.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 2/19/2015 6:50:52 PM EDT
[#47]
This is not directed at anyone in particular but it needs to be asked.  We can all complain about the actions of others, how they dress, etc.  What exactly are you doing about this public perception of ham radio?  
Link Posted: 2/19/2015 7:09:51 PM EDT
[#48]
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Quoted:
This is not directed at anyone in particular but it needs to be asked.  We can all complain about the actions of others, how they dress, etc.  What exactly are you doing about this public perception of ham radio?  
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I plan on going to our field day and have a few demonstrations about solar, QRP, SOTA and MARS. I plan to present the bast face to radio as I can.
Link Posted: 2/19/2015 7:13:57 PM EDT
[#49]
My new snazzy hanging Name ID tag came in the mail-I'll wear it to functions as required.  
I make an effort no to stink or have a neck-beard everyday (Shower/Shave).
Link Posted: 2/19/2015 9:08:31 PM EDT
[#50]
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Quoted:
When headed to my first hamfest my Elmer told me, "You'll never see a stranger bunch of
folk than you'll see at a hamfest."

He was right.  
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You've obviously never been to either a wargaming convention or an anime convention.
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