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Western Pennsylvania Section News, December 2018


We wish you the best holiday season ever. Here’s hoping that Santa remembered to stop at the Radio Store on his way to your QTH!

Major Changes to ARES and OO Programs

The ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working Group has completed its two-year project to re-tool the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) to meet the requirements of partner agencies, nationwide. The new program will consist of ARES Members who are “organized, trained, qualified and credentialed” to better serve our partner agencies.

The new program features three levels of ARES membership, which are matched by three levels of required training and certification. The training requirements will be met by members completing free, online courses including NIMS IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 and IS-800 and the newly revised ARRL EC-001, which will be provided free of charge to ARES members. Additional training is required for all ARES leadership appointees (“*ECs”).

The ARRL Board has opened a public comment period which runs until October 31. ARRL requests your comments to be sent through your Section Emergency Coordinator <sec@wpa-arrl.org> and Section Manager <sm@wpa-arrl.org> only. The Board will review all comments and vote on the final program at the January 2019 ARRL Board Meeting.

The current OO program will end, and be replaced by a new Volunteer Monitoring program, administered by ARRL HQ, working closely with FCC. All current OOs will be invited to apply for the new program, which will concentrate on major enforcement issues the FCC requests. The goal is to provide more rapid enforcement response to significant, developing on-the-air violations rather than more minor operating and technical issues.

Much more information about these developments is available online at www.arrl.org and in upcoming issues of QST.

2018 Recap

What a busy year we have had! Our WPA Section Convention and the first Pennsylvania State ARRL Convention in many years were well attended and widely appreciated.

Public Service Activity reports have been pouring in every month. Our WPA Section hams have been very active indeed! Nice work, everyone!

Our Section Staff officials have been busy making plans to keep serving our section better and better. ASM Juan Manfredi NA0B has embarked on a mission to rejuvenate College Radio Clubs across our section. SEC Bud Plants N3TIR and ASEC Steve Fazekas K3FAZ have been working overtime to implement the new, enhanced ARES program, develop a wider cooperation with Western PA Red Cross, and building plans to expand ARES communications capabilities, including the 60 meter band and digital messaging across the WPA Section.

Section Traffic Manager Herb Gilliland W3YNX reports that an increasing number of WPA hams are making their presence known on the Public Service Honor Roll. Section Youth Coordinator Bruce Gibson K3BEG is working with schools and scouts with plans for amateur radio activities that support educational and operating activities for young hams everywhere in our WPA Section.

All this and more is being documented in our upcoming WPA Section Yearbook!

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for a program for your club meetings, why not put together some activities for new hams and those who are interested in Amateur Radio? Demo the latest entry level radios like the Icom 7300 and the Yaesu 991A (for example), have some Advisors available to answer questions, have a show and tell about DXing, digital modes, SDR, signal location… the list is endless.

Advertise it as much as you can, especially in schools, colleges, on bulletin boards at work, on your nets, and in person to the hams in your communities who recently got licensed. It doesn’t have to be perfect — it just has to be done. Who knows, you might make the difference needed to gain some active new members!

Above all else, go out of your way to make new hams feel welcome and respected! We want to make good amateur radio friendships in the best 100+ year tradition of Amateur Radio!

Still looking for more ideas for meeting programs? Drop me an invite or a request for a visit by any of our section staff. We are available to travel to your group, and can discuss a variety of very interesting Amateur Radio topics.

73 and Press On!

Joe Shupienis W3BC

Western Pennsylvania Section Manager
ARRL – the national association for Amateur Radio®


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