Volunteers can contribute in many ways, depending on training and credentialing. Completing the Auxiliary Communicator (AUXC) Position Task Book (PTB) is encouraged, but not required.
Although an amateur radio license is highly encouraged for full participation, a license is not a prerequisite for active participation in Albemarle AUXCOMM.
In order make a meaningful contribution to emergency planning, response, and recovery, Albemarle AUXCOMM volunteers must be well-trained, well-equipped, adaptable, and proficient. We must be prepared to contribute to the overall communications objectives of an incident, either by using our equipment and licenses, or by using the equipment of the agencies that we support, when requested. We may well participate in an incident response and never touch our amateur radio gear. The critical thing is that we know radio, we know communications, and we are prepared to adapt to changing demands and challenges.
Albemarle AUXCOMM has a number of expectations for participation. If you are prepared to make these commitments, contact us at email@example.com.
- Readiness: You should able and prepared to deploy on short notice – but never self-deploy. Being ready means being able to put other activities on hold on short notice; having your equipment maintained and prepared; staying up-to-date on training and certification; and having a plan for taking care of your own needs and those of your family while you are deployed.
- Training: At minimum, complete FEMA IS-100.c (https://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=IS-100.c) and IS-700.b (https://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=is-700.b). (If you already have certificates of completion for IS-100.b and IS-700.a, those are fine, too.) Additional training opportunities are available.
- Exercises, etc.: Participate in at least 70% of the exercises, drills, and local training sessions held during each year. (Exercises and training sessions are being held on the air and via teleconferencing during the pandemic.)
- Public service: Participate in at least four amateur radio public service events (AARC, CVRA, other local or national amateur radio PS events). (Most public service events have been cancelled due to the pandemic, so this expectation is on hold.)
- Voice communications: Maintain a working mobile or portable VHF/UHF voice communications capability, with a gain antenna and VHF transmit power of 40W or more. You should be prepared to operate either from your vehicle or from inside a building with your antenna outside. (A handheld transceiver (HT), while a valuable component of your go-kit, is unlikely to meet this requirement by itself.) You should be comfortable with operating via crossband repeat, either through the mobile transceiver in your vehicle or through someone else’s.
- One or more of the following:
- Winlink: Maintain a working mobile VHF/UHF Winlink capability. (See https://www.cvadn.net/how-to-winlink-radio-email/ for information.)
- HF NVIS: Maintain a portable HF Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) capability, including HF Winlink (WINMOR/ARDOP/VARA, Pactor-2/3 if you can afford it) and HF fldigi/flmsg.
- Mesh Network: Maintain a portable CVADN mesh network node (https://www.cvadn.net).
Our local served agency may impose additional requirements.
There are also support roles available for people who aren’t able to commit to being prepared for field deployment. We need people who have skills in planning and organizing, computing, networking, public relations, fundraising, and other critical activities that don’t involve sitting in front of a radio.