Volunteers Providing Emergency Communications for Multnomah County, Oregon

From the EC’s Desk

Happy New Year, ARES!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season. Now that the year has turned over, it’s time to get back into the swing of things. The leadership team has been working over the last month to put together a great plan and operating calendar for the upcoming year. To get the year off to a fast start, we will be participating in Winter Field Day as a unit for the first time.

The training at the general membership meeting on January 24 will be on Winlink, to get us ready for our next drill on Feb 9. We felt last year’s drill from home using the Winlink system was a valuable experience, so that format will be duplicated for this drill with the addition of a resource net.

The annual survey indicated you wanted more operating time so that is one of the key drivers of ARES this year. We all love to operate and doing so as often as possible is important for remaining sharp as a unit. We have forgone two-team drills this year in order to concentrate on drills as a full ARES unit. The goal will be to have some form of event members can participate in each month. This is not to say that we need everyone at every drill or event, but there should be more than enough opportunity for everyone to remain active.

Coordinating an operating event or drill for the entire unit is a big lift, planning-wise. Thanks to all those who expressed interest in this task in the survey. We’ll work on incorporating those folks as we proceed.

There are so many items I’d love to cover here, but instead I will take a large chunk of February’s general membership meeting to review continuing operating strategies and our upcoming year. For now, please review your kits, make sure your Winlink Express applications are up to date, and I look forward to seeing you all soon.