There are always two sides to every story but Curtis, VE6AEW, has chosen to share his as a comment to my last post about RAC being broken and I am reposting here.
I am not in a position to verify or deny anything that Curtis has sent me but to say it sure sounds familiar and comparable to the current situation in southern Ontario.
Is RAC broken? Well read on and you decide:
(BTW all comments and posts are vetted by me to take out the bad words and not automatically post any personal attacks, ads for intimate devices or other unfriendly or unwanted actions.
So if you have something you’d like to see posted, send it to me. If I don’t use it, I usually will email you an explanation of why. With those exceptions above, all comments welcome.)
Here’s what Curtis sent us:
As for RAC moving away from ARES, this might actually be a good thing. ARES isn’t organized or managed by RAC, but by the local groups in the section. Here in Alberta we had a single group start dictating what everyone else should be doing and this wasn’t taken very well.
This group has now alienated themselves in that no one else wants to work with them. The lack of support that came from the SM and temporary VPFS in dealing with the issue has caused a number of groups to question why we need RAC at all.
Don’t get me wrong, RAC is the voice of all of us licensed amateurs with Industry Canada. So there are certain matters that RAC should be involved in for the betterment of us all. However when it comes to ARES, we don’t exactly have a federal emergency management agency that compares to FEMA in the US. All emergency management is handled at the local and provincial level, at least in Alberta.
I resigned as the SEC due to the lack of support from the SM in dealing with a rogue group that felt we need to be first responders. In the after math I decided to still support my local ARES group as this is why I am in amateur radio, to assist my community with emergency communications when all else fails.
After my resignation I kept in touch with a fellow amateur that was making a presentation in BC on the Southern Alberta Flooding Response. The SM stuck his nose into the email discussion stating that I chose to no longer be involved and I should no longer be included in the discussion. I stated that he had no right to filter who I can communicate with.
After a few back/forth emails I was told to go f*** myself and called me a whining snibbling a**hole. This is how our elected SM shows respect to an individual that got involved in ARES at a provincial level to bring all the groups together.
Before I got involved there was no provincial cooperation, a single rogue group claimed they would respond anywhere in the province and none of the other groups were required. I supported a new group in that region and this was a mistake as they have now gone rogue again.
The issue here is they have developed their own opinions with no experience. Prior to taking the SEC role, I started in ARES as an AEC and then moved into the EC role for Edmonton.
My involvement in ARES is nearly 10 years, and licensed for 15. Heck even my replacement as SEC has been licensed for 5 years and 0 years experience in ARES, but he got appointed by our SM. And now I hear he is looking for a new SEC as the current one isn’t very active supporting our groups.
From everything I have seen and heard over the last while, RAC is broken. The catch is who is willing to step up and fix it. I have heard from the RAC President requesting more background on what the issues are with ARES in Alberta. Granted he was involved in all the email threads when all the crap started this spring, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that the email threads might not provide all the details, even though they are there.
I am a little disappointed that he waits nearly 6 months to address the issues. It makes sense that RAC is falling apart if you drag things out for 6 months. While we wait for RAC to address the issues, we locals still have agencies to serve, repeater networks to build/maintain, training exercises to perform, etc.
RAC isn’t going to grow or even maintain what they have if they drag their feet to address issues. The RAC president and I have been playing phone tag for the last month so hopefully we can connect at some point, in the near future.
I am considering my options on whether getting involved in RAC is worth my time. Do I get involved to clean up the ARES mess in Alberta, for a 2nd time? Is it even worth having a RAC ARES structure in Alberta?
Other provinces have created their own organizations to handle provincial emergency communications. Is this the correct route to follow? I have spoken with a number of the ARES groups in Alberta after my resignation to gather their thoughts on where we should go. I won’t discuss what their views are,on this blog.
I still have to decide if I want to re-enter the political BS arena that we call RAC ARES.