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Western Kern County ARES®
Rev. December 2012

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Understanding our ARRL Memoranda of Understanding

    The premier justification for continued access to our piece of the spectrum pie is, and always will be, public service. A major part of our public service activity is conducted in the context of the ARRL’s national-level formal agreements (MOU’s) with “heavy hitters” of the emergency management community. An MOU provides a framework for cooperation and coordination with agencies to which we as radio amateurs provide communication services.
At the national level, this means periodic headquarters-to headquarters contact to exchange news, views, information, and points of contact in the field. For example, ARRL staff attends the annual Red Cross partnership meeting, along with representatives from other agencies and organizations that have MOUs with that organization. The idea is to get to know one another on a face-to face basis, so that when an emergency happens you know who to call and who you can count on.
    At the local level, an MOU serves two purposes. First, it’s a door opener. A new ARES group is more likely to be heard and taken seriously by a local National Weather Service (NWS) office when accompanied by the agreement document signed by the head of the agency. The served agency says, in effect, we have examined this organization of radio amateurs and have found them to be trust worth and able to render substantial and needed services for our field operations in times of emergency. The agency head is telling its field office, “Go get ‘em—they are good for us.” Secondly, once your foot is in the door, the provisions of the MOU document spell out the capabilities and organization of the servers (us), the organization and needs of the served agency (them), and the methods of operation. These are broad guidelines that lead to the establishment of a local memorandum of understanding or similar document that sets forth the detailed operational plans and policies to be subscribed to by both parties during drills, and actual events.
    The most important step here is to ensure that both parties to the local agreement have a realistic assessment of the resources brought to the table by the servers, and the needs of the served. Please contact your ARRL section leaders or ARRL Headquarters if you have questions about local or national-level MOUs. More
information and the text of our various MOUs may be found online at
American Red Cross
ARRL and the Red Cross have had cooperative agreements since 1940. The current statement was signed in 2002. Chartered by Congress in 1905, the Red Cross provides relief to victims displaced by disaster, from the onset of disaster conditions to the recovery phase. Western Kern County ARES® has a signed Statement of Cooperation with the Kern Chapter.
APCO International
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO)—International comprises communications professionals in emergency medical, law enforcement, fire, search-and-rescue and other public safety fields.
Civil Air Patrol
Members of ARRL and the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) share common goals of serving the public through efficient and effective use of radio communications. To this end, members of both organizations engage in regular training to prepare for emergency and disaster communications. Members of both organizations provide important communications capability to the Homeland Security programs of the United States.
Department of Homeland Security—Citizen Corps
In June 2003, ARRL became an official affiliate program of Citizen Corps, an initiative within the Department of Homeland Security to enhance public preparedness and safety. ARRL has worked very closely with FEMA since 1984 when an MOU was inked that helped ARRL volunteers coordinate their services with emergency management at all levels of government. FEMA’s job was as a “last responder,” as opposed to first responders (the local, county and state emergency management agencies). Today, Citizen Corps groups are at the community level and state level to assist first responders.
National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers
Founded in 1982, the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers (NARTE) offer an accredited certification program to qualified engineers and technicians, many of them Amateur Radio operators. Its other activities include participation as a commercial operator license examination manager. Its primary mission is to promote professional excellence within the telecommunications industry and related areas.
National Communications System
The National Communications System (NCS) is a unique organization. It is a confederation of 23 organizations across the Federal Government tasked with ensuring the availability of a viable national security and emergency preparedness telecommunications infrastructure.
National Weather Service
Amateur Radio is almost synonymous with the SKYWARN program, the “eyes and ears” of the National Weather Service (NWS) during severe weather emergencies. Hams comprise the majority of SKYWARN volunteers, who report “ground truths” to local NWS offices, supplementing their sophisticated weather monitoring equipment.
Quarter Century Wireless Association
The Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA) and the ARRL recognize each other’s efforts to support, protect, promote and advance the Amateur Radio Service.
REACT International
ARRL and REACT (Radio Emergency Associated Communication Teams) share common goals in terms of emergency communication. The primary mission of REACT is “to provide public safety communications to individuals, organizations, and government agencies to save lives, prevent injuries, and give assistance wherever and whenever needed.”
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army has provided services to victims of disasters for decades, and it’s particularly active in the recovery stage of disasters. Along with many other agencies, the ARRL and the Salvation Army also are member organizations to the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD).
Society of Broadcast Engineers
ARRL is committed to helping develop future careers in RF Engineering and related technological fields. Our alliance with the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) will help many hams gain the informational resources necessary to make sound career choices, as well as strengthen the exchange of technological innovation between hams and engineering professionals.
United States Power Squadrons
The United States Power Squadrons (USPS), a national boating and educational organization, is dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable. USPS formalized an MOU with ARRL in 2005 linking the two services in their efforts to better serve the public. USPS is a world leader in speaking out for and promoting the needs of all recreational boaters.
Houchin Community Blood Bank
Western Kern County ARES® has volunteered for the HCBB for many years. We have no signed agreement with HCBB however we actively support them and operate their HF and VHF station on a regular basis.