To get back to the original question about connecting Scouts with local emergency management, here are two resources that might help.
First, a new online course from FEMA, IS-288 "The Role of Voluntary Agencies in Emergency Management": https://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/IS288.asp
I think I'll be taking that.
Second, there was a short item in Boy's Life this month (Dec 2012, page 15) about a Scout who worked out the partnership between his troop and the emergency management organization in his part of Seattle: http://blog.seattlepi.com/inqueenanne/2010/10/02/qa-scouts-blaze-trail-with-emergency-preparedness-partnership/
The last line of the article is "Anyone interested in connecting a Boy Scout troop with their neighborhood EPC can contact me at QAVFD.BLOG@...
." I expect they really mean "anyone in Seattle", but I'm sure they have experience to pass on. I'm guessing that "QAVFD" is Queen Anne Volunteer Fire Department, but who knows?
ASM, Troop 14, Palo Alto
On Nov 18, 2012, at 1:20 PM, n5dgh wrote:
> Yes and No; Texas Law designates each primary elected County Judge as the Emergency Management authority for that political jurisdiction. RACES is their authorized tool for emergency communications utilizing licensed Amateur Radio operators, assuming a declaration would ever be made limiting ARES operations. The Judge may appoint others to assist them in carrying out their EM responsibilities like the Sheriff and Emergency Management Coordinators. Texas has a State RACES Officer [SRO] who is supported by District Radio Officers [DRO] whose districts follow the Texas DPS district maps. The DRO is supported by the RACES Radio Officers [RRO], often from the individual Counties within their Districts.
> The Texas Emergency Management structure stresses that the authority remains as local as possible, but there are Mutual Aid Agreements between the counties and agencies. DPS, serving as the Govenor's agent, usually only assumes an active role once specifically requested, when the burden or capabilities of both the local and county jurisdictions will be exhausted or exceeded, possibly including the exahustion or exceeding of Mutual Aid available from neighboring jurisdictions, and may involve multiple jurisdictions, with some as served and others as serving.
> Texas DPS has a similar Emergency Management Coordinator lineup as RACES called Regional Liaison Officers for each of those Districts for which the map addresses. More recently, they even have added sub-district LOs [5A, 5B, 5C]. A few years back, Homeland Security mandated another layer [aint it great] of preparedness referred to as Regional Councils of Government [COGs], serving a multi-county area, similar to Texas DPS Districts. We already had our regional COG, but until that date, it was optional but not mandatory.
> So what all of this boils down to is that unless it gets really bad, RACES will never be called into service. RACES is not permitted to `self-deploy' like ARES is allowed so around here we always say that it will be ARES until the few hours or days when RACES and then back to ARES following the expiration of the declaration. As a `rule-of-thumb', we typically have about half as many members who are both ARES and RACES as those who are ARES but not also RACES, for whatever reasons. The perception that DPS runs RACES in Texas may come from the tight coordination between DPS RLOs and RACES DROs, since most likely requests for Amateur Radio resources within their respective districts would involve multi jurisdiction events where the DPS would have already been requested to engage with identified resources in support of the effort.
> This may work a might different with Scouts than with rank and file Hams but credentialing and autonomous groups seems to be the order in future volunteering for all Emergency Management operations. Specifically, a certain minimal training and certification is necessary to prevent communications and re-imbursement problems from derailing the opportunity to serve, like ICS 700/100 and 200 courses, along with the group having the ability to sustain itself for at least 72 hours without additional or outside support requirements. This self-sufficiency may include transportation, fuel, sanitation, hydration, power, shelter, food, shift relief, communications, secutity, and all of the tools and supplies necessary for them to complete a mission for which they would be assigned, standalone, without burdening the already challenged response resources.
> Communications is one of the easiest to coordinate while remaining outside of the primary affected areas. I offer as an example the Texas Gulf Coast region. The simple majority of communications support from the affected areas back to Austin, where their local VHF/UHF resources, if still functioning, fall short of reaching Austin and their HF resources overshoot Austin, can be easily handled by the many Hams available at a useful distance to facilitate the HF traffic. Remember that those organized, credentialed, and autonomous groups will always get favor over lesser credentialed groups or individuals. This is perhaps a wide open opportunity for Scout Crews who remain organized, prepared, trained, and credentialed to autonomously take on a mission and fulfill the responsibility through to completion.
> Since the original question was regarding Scouts and MOUs, hopefully this insight will help plan for how to be seen as a part of the solution more than another problem, and how there is some hierarchy involved that ties many of the elements together [ARES, DPS, RACES, BSA, CERT, FEMA, etc.] so that we may be depended upon for a suitable role and remain engaged in worthwhile preparedness. It may be more realistic to attach [MOU] to an existing serving agency to benefit in their training opportunities and attain the privileges to deploy in a support role with that served agency. They all have other MOUs in place from which to reference.
> Leland, N5DGH, TX 5A
> WGD, WTX ASM Radio-Scouting
> --- In ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com, "ad5td" <cmoprcc@...> wrote:
> > Here in Texas the RACES org is run by the Department of Public Safety (State Troopers) and a questionnaire about your criminal past and an FBI background check is MANDATORY and a AR license of General class or above is also required.
> > William Albert
> > AD5TD
> > RRO 3A
> > ASM Troop 188
> > Woodsboro, TX
> > --- In ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com, "Lamers, William M III (Will)" <willlamers@> wrote:
> > >
> > > ARES is an organization coordinated by the ARRL, and membership requires an Amateur Radio license (http://www.arrl.org/ares). No age restrictions that I know of.
> > >
> > > RACES is coordinated by local emergency offices; where I live it is an offshoot of the Sheriffâ€™s office. As far as I can tell, the local organization sets the requirements for membership.
> > >
> > > 73 de Will K6WML
> > >
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