Following up on an ARRL Board of Directors directive at its July meeting, the Public Service Enhancement Working Group (PSEWG) has contacted all ARRL Section Managers (SMs) and Section Emergency Coordinators (SECs) seeking comments and suggestions regarding the proposed ARES Strategic Plan (attached below), via an online form. The deadline is October 31, in order to give the PSEWG sufficient time to review the comments and suggestions, formulate any necessary revisions, and submit the revised document to the Board for consideration at its January meeting.
Created in 1935, ARES has undergone very few changes over the years, while the agencies ARES serves have undergone many. The PSEWG evaluated the ARES program for 2 years and drafted several proposed enhancements aimed at updating the program.
The ARES Strategic Plan introduces changes and a platform for future growth. For many, this will represent a major paradigm shift; for others, it will formalize many of the requirements they have employed routinely for several years.
An independent team of individuals experienced in ARES and emergency work from across the US has reviewed the proposed plan. Their suggestions and recommendations were carefully considered, and many were included in the plan during its development.
Now, the ARRL Board wants SMs and SECs to have the opportunity to offer comments on the recommended changes prior to implementation of the plan. While SMs and SECs are invited to reach out to their Emergency Coordinators (ECs) for their thoughts and feedback, formal responses must be submitted through SMs and SECs.
The PSEWG asks SMs an SECs to keep their comments respectful, concise, and on point, and to keep in mind that the ARES framework must remain as close to universal as possible, even while participants in some geographical areas may require specific training that others do not need. Mutual aid pacts may require training specific to adjacent jurisdictions.
Also, SMs and SECs are reminded that specific agency agreements and needs must be honored. Those having concerns about a proposed new policy are requested to offer alternatives.