Monday, November 18, 2013

Baby Leo

Yessika and Baby Leo. I think he’ll be stuck with that nickname for life.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Training Standards

Query: “Are there any training standards for communications units that serve government?”

Response by Stan Harter, based on 45 years experience with volunteer communications units in support of government:

As to standards of training, I know of none. Each agency creates (or fails to create) their own. Since every government does everything different, there are very few “basics” when it comes to communication training, except for these:
  1. The proper radio calling procedure.

  2. Use plain English; no codes, no ham codes, no 10-codes, etc.

  3. Maximize tactical calls, minimize ham radio calls.

The standards of deportment, appearance, behavior, performance, minimum required training, etc. are generally policies estab- lished by the local government. If not, they should be; and if it’s worth doing right it’s worth writing it down.

There are, however, related standards to learn, such as:
  1. The unwritten protocol and nuances of an agency. Since these are unwritten these are part of what the unit officers learn by working IN the agency in some on-going capacity.

  2. Applicable local or state laws, such as in California where the Standardized Emergency Management System takes effect 12/1/96. This involves five basics: ICS, Mutual Aid, MACS, OA and OASIS. See RACES Bulletin 418 dated 2/19/96.

  3. Thorough working understanding of the Incident Command System (ICS) and how it is used by your government. See RACES Bulletin 416 issued 2/5/96. Also see also EMCOM Bulletins 001-020.

  4. How the communications Mutual Aid system works in your area. Who is authorized to activate or call out the unit and under what circumstances. See RACES bulletin 414 dated 1/22/96.

  5. The mission statement of the local communications unit.

  6. California jurisdictions see RACES Bulletin 413 on the Operational Area (OA), issued 1/15/96 and 417 on OASIS, issued 2/12/96.

Originally published by CA State ACS office, Nov 4, 1996, as EMC Bulletin 052

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Don't listen to him, he's not "an #SMEM expert!"

What does it take to be an expert in something?

Is this a valid criticism?

Has SMEM become a marketing tool?  Too many people slap a #smem hashtag on stuff that really doesn’t belong.

What is SMEM? What should it be?

My thoughts are that SMEM should be used on messages that are directed to the target public.

Maybe use SM4EM for inter-office communications, or subject matter that doesn’t need to be directed to the general public.

Right now there is no standard hashtag being pushed for John Q Public to follow for information and updates.

What are the desirable traits for a Volunteer?

   A management workshop, based on Harvard business school techniques, divided 110 people into eleven groups of ten people each. The groups were asked to list all of the attributes that came to mind. After a period of time they were told to stop writing lists and vote on their top eight. Then all eleven groups combined their results into the following top eight attributes:

  1. Reliability.

  2. Participation.

  3. Being a team player.

  4. Dedication and commitment.

  5. Ability to cooperate.

  6. Acceptance of responsibility.

  7. Support; speaks well of his/her organization before others.

  8. A success in his/her vocation.

   Those are the top eight that beat out all others. What others might you add? This can be a good discussion at any organizational meeting.